All About Living in Rockford, Michigan

Rockford, Michigan is an incredible place to be with a super convenient location and a lot to offer its community. If you’re thinking of moving to or within West Michigan, Rockford may be an area to keep in mind.

Let’s talk about the city of Rockford, Michigan itself. Rockford is roughly 12 miles north of the city of Grand Rapids, up on the northeast corner, and very accessible to freeway 131, and Northland Drive, which will take you down on the northeast side of town. The city itself has a population of just over 6,000 and covers about a three-mile geographical area. Rockford was founded in 1842 as a lumber community. It has since moved on to many other various businesses that support the community. 

Rockford Recreation

Rogue River

Let’s chat about some recreational opportunities in and around Rockford. This area is known for its recreation, likely because of the layout of the land, rolling hills, woods, and water. The Rogue River cuts right through the village and is a very active river that runs north to south. This provides plenty of opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and even some summer tubing opportunities for you and the family or whoever. Now, what follows the Rogue River are some amazing river walks around the city. This is just a beautiful place to hang out, take a short walk after dinner, and really enjoy the nature of the river. 

The White Pine Trail

The next thing we have to mention is the White Pine Trail, which runs right through the village of Rockford. The White Pine Trail is arguably the most well-known, nicest biking, walking, and rollerblading trail in West Michigan. It starts in Comstock Park and is a 92-mile paved path that runs all the way up to Cadillac. And a little fun fact for you, this was the old Michigan-Indiana railroad line that is no longer in place, and they said, “You know what? Let’s make this an awesome bike path.” In the summertime, spring, and fall, you will see a lot of people on the trail and everybody will stop in the village of Rockford, take a little break, grab an ice cream, and just relax by the dam. The White Pine Trail is definitely a hotspot.

Luton Park

There are so many other parks that we could mention, but we’ll just narrow it down to a couple and give you some ideas of the other opportunities. There is also Luton Park, a large park off of 10 Mile. Rockford is really known for its mountain biking and trail running, and Luton Park is known for its incredible mountain biking. 

Pickerel Lake Park

Then there’s Pickerel Lake Park, on the east end of town, just out of the city of Rockford. If you enjoy cross-country skiing in the winter, the large trail around the lake may be perfect. You can also do some incredible bird watching or just go for a walk to enjoy nature.


Headed south out of the city of Rockford, still in the school district, is the local ski resort, Cannonsburg. This is a great spot for skiing, of course, but they also have a tubing hill. This is an awesome environment, with a great venue for weddings and parties at the base of the hill. Cannonsburg is also known for its mountain bike racing.

While there is so much more we could share, Rockford, out of all the areas in West Michigan, is one of the hotspots for recreation. It’s a great community to get outdoors, enjoy the rivers, trails, mountain biking, and generally just get out and enjoy nature. 

Rockford, Michigan Schools

The Rockford school district is a very large geographical area, while the village and city is smaller. Rockford ranks #5 as far as academics in all schools in Kent County. The total student population is hovering right around 7,700 for all students in elementary, middle school, and high school. 

There are nine elementary schools in Rockford, two middle schools (Rockford East and Rockford North), which lead into the Rockford Freshman Center, and then Rockford High School (obviously for grades 10 to 12). The population of Rockford High School is roughly 1,800, which equals about 600 per grade. There are some larger class sizes, with that many schools feeding into one spot; Rockford has always been known as a very large high school. With that said, that doesn’t affect its student-to-teacher ratio, which is about 19 students for every one teacher. That large student population doesn’t just bring opportunities for academics, it also opens up to athletics, as Rockford ranks as the number two school in all of Michigan as far as athletic opportunities.

Real Estate in Rockford, MI

Of course, we have to talk about real estate in Rockford. Starting with the average price point of roughly $458,000, which is higher than the Kent County average of $350,000. Keep in mind, this is a very large geographical area and you can get whatever you want in Rockford. If you want that historical home in the village of Rockford, it is there; if you want to be in the woods along the Rogue River, there are great communities there; there’s the awesome tight-knit communities, newer homes, opportunities for farms, etc. 

If you’re looking for incredible all-sports lake opportunities, Rockford is one of the best areas in Kent County to invest in as far as that goes. There is Bostwick Lake, Silver Lake, and Lake Bella Vista. 

We do get this question a lot when we’re helping buyers and sellers in the Rockford area, so as far as property taxes, the city of Rockford has some incredible amenities and services that they offer to the community so the property taxes of the city of Rockford are a little bit higher than outlying areas. 

Businesses in Rockford

Moving on to some of the businesses in Rockford, this is an incredible place to walk the streets and do some shopping. There are some incredible gift stores for your friends or family and when you get done shopping, there are so many opportunities to grab a drink or something to eat.

One of the most iconic places in Rockford is the Corner Bar, which was established in 1873, a landmark known for its hotdogs. They also have great food, drinks, and cocktails, and it’s just generally a great place to be. Then there’s the Rockford Brewing Company and Marinades, which is an incredible place for brick oven pizza. There are also some great dessert options, like Flavors on the Promenade.