Rockford is located ten miles northeast of Grand Rapids. It is a small commuter town known for its excellent school system, unique downtown shopping, and beautiful waterfront recreation.
Throughout history, Rockford has been known as a close-to-town resort community for many of Grand Rapid´s residents. With private bodies of water such as Silver Lake, Bostwick Lake, and the Rogue River, Rockford has offered many families a convenient getaway from the hectic city life. Over the past 30 years, Rockford´s year round population has blossomed with the creation of many unique residential communities, perfect for young families; the most apparent community being that of Lake Bella Vista.
Lake Bella Vista once was a bog known as Grass Lake until the early 1970´s when it was developed by Velting Contractors. With a little dredging, Velting was able to turn this land into a thriving private fishing and water-sport community for thousands of households. Due to the population increase, the school system in Rockford revamped their facilities to accommodate the needs of the community. Today the Rockford school system is seen as a leader in the West Michigan area in the way of technology, athletics, and energy efficiency.
Like many of the surrounding communities around Grand Rapids, Rockford has a beautiful small downtown providing shopping, dinning, and all the necessities for daily living. People come from miles around to peruse the unique family owned shops and restaurants that line Main Street.
The Rockford area also provides residents and visitors with a wide array of recreational opportunities. The city has 30 acres of public waterfront access and ten beautiful newly renovated city parks. The White Pine Trail also passes through the city of Rockford. This trail system runs from downtown Grand Rapids, all the way up to Cadillac, providing bicyclists, joggers, and all other types of athletes with almost 100 miles of trail to explore.
A prominent feature of Rockford is the Rouge River that runs right through its downtown. The Rouge is known for its excellent trout and bass fishing, and its salmon and steelhead runs in the spring and fall. The Rouge has many public access spots along its curvy shores, and is a great place to come to unwind after a long day of work.
Along with fishing and trail recreation, Rockford is also the closest town to Grand Rapids´ main ski area. Cannonsburg Ski Area is only five miles from downtown Rockford, and is the largest ski and snowboard park in southwest Michigan.