Hardy Pond Trail: Economic Impact Analysis

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April 30, 2014 - Author: Anthony S Orlando - Steven R Miller

Tucked away in west‐central Michigan exists Newaygo County, a small community bestowed with a resource rich environment. Located on the eastern border, along the Muskegon River is Hardy dam. A hydroelectric source of energy built in 1931, this Consumers Energy‐owned dam has created an upstream reservoir which is rightfully named, Hardy Pond. Hardy Pond has naturally become a recreation hotspot with five public parks, roughly 2,000 campsites, and several boat launch sites on shores spanning nearly 4,000 acres. In seeking maximize the recreational potential1 of this site, a roughly 30 mile, trail surrounding the lake has been proposed by Newaygo and Mecosta Counties. Construction of the trail and its maintenance has been contracted out to the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). It is expected that the addition of this trail will enhance existing recreational opportunities and will have a positive impact on the surrounding communities in the form of increased tourism expenditures in the area.

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