WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) — Construction has started on the next segment of the Hardy Dam trail in Newaygo County.

According to a release from the Newaygo County Parks and Recreation Department, work started on April 15. Currently, 24 of the 47 trail miles are complete. The department hopes to finish another 10 miles and three bridges in 2022.

Commonly referred to as The Dragon Trail, it is comprised of 11 segments making a loop around Hardy Pond, cutting across both Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Six segments are complete and four others are partially done.

Crews are starting at Newaygo State Park and working their way across 7.6 miles of land to connect to Brower Park, which will include bridges, a raised wooden tread and a cross-country-style trail. From there, crews will move across the pond to pick up where work stopped last year. Segments 7 and 8 will converge at Big Bend Township Park. Segment 8 is expected to finish this year. Segment 7, which is the largest stretch of the trail season, is expected to be completed in 2023.

The concept behind the trail was first developed in 2009 and started to gain traction after Newaygo and Mecosta counties committed funds to develop the trails. Construction started in 2019.

Lots of hikers, bikers and trail runners have already visited The Dragon Trail, but organizers want to make sure people stay safe and avoid construction zones.

“People don’t go looking for the new trail or riding or walking up near the trail builders,” Martin Hall of the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance said in a release. “Work crews must stop when you show up. We will let you know when there is something new to ride or hike. Please be patient; trail building is  a long and arduous process.”