Being an avid runner from a young age and now a personal trainer, I have spent a lot of time running and hiking over the years.  In more recent years, due to my work schedule, I found myself stuck to the convenience of the gym equipment.  During the 2020 Quarantine and COVID shutdown I began exercising outdoors once again, as that was the only option available to me at the time.  I found the Hike 100 Challenge, a challenge to Hike 100 miles

in a calendar year on the North Country trail.  In 2020, to participate in the challenge the miles could be done anywhere due to the restrictions with travel.  To get my miles in I began looking for a weekly adventure to check out the local hiking areas in Newaygo County.

It wasn’t long before I found the Dragon Trail.  I fell in love with  it – the breathtaking beauty of all the water at Hardy Dam, the Bald Eagle I witness flying over an outlook on the trail, the summer sunrises, the changing leaves in the fall, the misty rain that created a double full rainbow over the water and of course the various twists and turns in the trails with different changes in elevation.

Now I plan an adventure to the Dragon’s Trail once a month to enjoy the great outdoors.

In the past, I have not participated much in winter sports due to being asthmatic.  Just last winter I went snowshoeing for the first time.  This year I was determined to get outside to try snowshoeing once again and

decided the Dragon would be the perfect spot to explore.  The weather was ideal – it had snowed the evening before creat

ing a fluffy dusting on the trees, the temperature was mid 30’s with minimal wind and was overcast.  I parked at the Sandy Beach County Park gates by the office and started my hike on the difficult section that would soon take me to the overlook of Hardy Dam with the bench.  In the distance I could hear a family

with several children squealing with excitement and giggling and I crossed paths with several fat bottom tire bikers on the trail slowly climbing their way up the snow packed covered hills.

A mile in from where I had parked, I arrived at the overlook of Hardy Dam with the beautifully made wooden bench.  The scene was surreal – beautiful snow-covered ice over the water with small circular areas in the shallow spots of the water and around the edges of the hills.  A picture of how magical and beautiful Michigan is no matter the season.  I continued along the path for another mile where I reached a road leading to a boat launch area and turned around to hike the two

miles back to my vehicle. I am looking forward to my next hiking adventure on the Dragon and exploring a new to me section of the trail further down from Sandy Beach.

In the warmer months of spring, summer and fall I offer a free weekly community BeHealthy Hike through my business in the Newaygo County area to promote healthy lifestyles.  I visit the Dragon once per month for these community hikes.  For more information, please feel free to contact me at 231.225.6699 or







Megan Dickinson passionate about fitness and wellness, offering personal training and medical massage through her business BeHealthy InBody Coaching, LLC.