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Hardy Dam

Hardy Dam, located in central Newaygo County, is one of those special Michigan places.

Located on the Muskegon River, Hardy Dam was completed in 1931. The Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture of the powerhouse and the intake tower is outstanding. The dam is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.The Hardy Dam backwater boasts of 4000 acres of surface water and fifty miles of shoreline. The backwaters are reported to be one of Michiganís largest lakes, if not the largest and the dam is one of the largest earthen dams in the county.  Five waterfront parks/campgrounds with a total of over 2000 campsites are located on the waterfront, along with boat launches and a marina. The parks located on the backwater of the Hardy Dam are; Newaygo County Sandy Beach Park, Big Prairie Township Ox Bow Park and Big Bend Park, Newaygo State Park and Mecosta County Brower Park.

A three mile nature trail runs parallel to the Muskegon River. Along the trail are twenty-six different types of trees each with a plaque identifying itís species. The trail is is home to wild turkeys, grouse, deer, beaver, mink and otter, and you may even be fortunate enough to catch sight of one of the resident bald eagles. The trail was constructed with the involvement and support of the Boy Scouts of America.Much of the Muskegon River front behind the dam is owned by consumers Power Company and has been left in itís natural state.

On the west side of the dam is the Hardy Dam Marina. This is a small marina located on an inlet off the pond with 37 slips all occupied by house boats. Talk about lifestyle! A boat launch as well as restrooms are available.

On the east side of the dam, Consumers Power operates the Operatorís Village Park. At the time of the construction of the dam, Consumers Power purchased four homes from the Sears & Roebuck company and built them for the operators of the dam to live in. The power plant required skilled operators to be on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allowed staff to rotate shifts and to have help close by for special maintenance projects. The homes were disassembled in the 1960ís when the area became more populated and the equipment was updated. The area is now a popular place for picnickers.

One thing everyone should do at least once while in the area, is to drive across the dam. The view is magnificent in every direction!hardymarina



Written by Dave.