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Is it a hobby or a game? Maybe it is a sport, a way to meet new people, or a way to discover places of beauty right in your own hometown or at thousands of places around the world? There is no question about the cost however, because it is absolutely free!

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game with high tech elements. Using a G.P.S. (or an app on your smart phone), you search for geo-caches hidden by others who have posted the coordinates of their "hide" on the website using a computer. There will also be details so you will know if the search will be easy or difficult and whether the cache will be large or small. Once you have located the cache, you record your comments on the website. You could even be the FTF (first to find)! You may also want to attend posted social events so you can get to know other geocachers (or opencachers, terrachers, navicachers, or letterbox enthusiasts)!

The Rockford Park District is involved only as far as providing some wonderful treasure-hiding (cache) locations. You do not need to obtain a permit or other permission. However it is requested that you consider the sensitivity of the cache areas. There are a few sensible guidelines to follow:

  • Caches may not be larger than 4" x 8" x 12".
  • Caches may not contain perishable foodstuffs, offensive, hazardous or waste materials
  • Caches must not, by use of pipe with capped ends or otherwise, resemble a bomb or dangerous device
  • Caches may not be attached to trees or shrubs, buildings or other structures and may not be buried, nor hidden or concealed by cutting, breaking or otherwise disturbing vegetation
  • Geocaching may not unreasonably interfere with other planned or customary park usage

As you begin to enjoy finding caches you will understand why there are locations in our district where caches may not be placed without risk of a fine:

  • Golf Courses (Sinnissippi, Ingersoll, Sandy Hollow, Elliot and Aldeen)

  • Pools and Aquatic Facilities (Alpine, Sandy Park and Harkins Pool, Magic Waters Waterpark)

  • Ice Rinks (Riverview and Carlson)

  • Sports Complexes (playing fields, spectator areas, paths and concession areas including Sportscore One and Two; and Indoor Sports Center [ISC] at Sportscore Two)

  • Addiitional locations excluded are Washington Park Community Center, Beattie Park, designated prairie or nature preserves, Ekberg Pine Manor Park, Sand Park, Atwood Park, and within any building

Rockford Park District is not responsible for caches and participation is at the sole risk of the participant. You should also be aware of the risk of removal of caches by third parties. Each of the sanctioning organizations (Geocache, Terracache, Opencache, etc.) has a protocol you will want to review before beginning.

Get started today by finding out more at

Swimming Safety

Pool Safely

Pool Safely

Be Water Aware >

Swim Safe, Swim Smart - PDRMA 2013

Drowning Prevention - PDRMA 2013

Water Safety Tips from our friends at the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)

  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
  • Appoint a "designated watcher" to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
  • Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
  • Install a poolside phone, preferably a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
  • Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
  • Keep rescue equipment poolside. Don't wait for the paramedics to arrive because you will lose valuable life-saving seconds. Four to six minutes without oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or death.
  • Keep a first aid kit at poolside.
  • Install four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, that completely surrounds the pool and prevents direct access from the house and yard.
  • Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Don't use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Never allow a young child in a pool without an adult.
  • Don't leave objects such as toys that might attract a child in the pool and pool area.
  • Never prop the gate to a pool area open.
  • Don't rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or other equipment to make a child "water safe."
  • Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
  • Don't leave chairs or other items of furniture where a child could use them to climb into a fenced pool area.
  • Don't think you'll hear a child who's in trouble in the water; child drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble

Water Safety Tips from the Pool Safely "Simple Steps Save Lives" Program

1. Staying close, being alert and watching children in and around the pool

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

2. Learning and practicing water safety skills

  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

3. Having appropriate equipment for your pool or spa

  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm

Boating & Fishing

Boat Ramps

There are four Rockford Park District sites from which to launch:

  • Sportscore One (1288 Elmwood Rd.)
  • South Park (126 Lane St. behind St. Elizabeth Center)
  • Martin Park (River Lane and Sheridan, Loves Park)
  • Just north of Riverview Ice House (324 N. Madison)


  • There are short-term boat tie-ups and docking available at Beattie Park and Waterside Plaza downtown
  • New docks for tie-up are located at Luther Center/Rockford Public Library (end of Mulberry St.) and just outside Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
  • Dock at Riverfront Museum Park (in May), behind Burpee Museum, near the River Walk
  • Seasonal docks are installed in the spring (April/May) and removed in the fall (October/November)
  • Sportscore One docks remain in year-round
  • Atwood Park features a canoe/kayak landing on the Kishwaukee River

For other boat launch points, local rivers and recreation associated with canoeing, check out the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.


Catch your dinner from many parks along the Rock River, the Kishwaukee River, Kent Creek, or Levings Lake. Try your line at Sportscore One, Martin, Shorewood, Sinnissippi, Riverview, Beattie, Davis, Atwood, Black Hawk, South, or Anna Page parks. The Luther and Library esplanades are also good spots. Levings Park, Sportscore One, and Martin Park provide lakes and lagoons for fishing. Levings Lake is regularly stocked with catfish and has wheelchair accessible parking spaces and dock.

 Wheelchair Accessible Dock Locations:

  • David F. Johnson Accessible Fishing Pier located along the Rock River, just south of the Auburn Street bridge. Once completed, the accessible pier will be accessed via the Rock River Recreation Path and wheelchair parking is nearby.
  • Levings Lake
  • The Waterside Plaza

Other Fishing Information

  • A fishing license is required and may be obtained at local bait shops (not available through the Rockford Park District)
  • Boating, canoeing, and fishing guides are available at the Rockford Park District and Winnebago County Forest Preserve facilities.

Windsor Lake Activity Center

7212 N. Alpine Rd. | Loves Park, IL 61111 | 815-987-8800 | Directions

The Windsor Lake Activity Center is a new multi-sport facility operated by the Rockford Park District. Located on Windsor Lake, the facility focuses on providing a breadth of outdoor education and recreational opportunities to our regional area.

The lake features catch and release (except for pan fish) fishing and picturesque paddling opportunities. Several new features include, a new partnership with Advance Medical Rehabilitation Center (AMR) allowing for the installation of a new boat launch area just North of the AMR parking lot (1820 Windsor Road, Loves Park ), free fishing (IL fishing license required), and personal muscular-powered watercraft will be allowed on the lake for fishing and paddling.

A daily fee of $2/hr and reservation is required for all watercraft. This reservation and fee can be paid on-line at: Windsor Lake Online Boat Reservations.

Windsor Lake is open daily sunrise to sunset.


For the Rockford Park District to be the best urban park and recreation system in North America, as measured by national standards and the citizens we serve.


To 'help people enjoy life' by providing a quality park and recreation system.

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