Population: 25 • Elevation: 5,305
Located on the banks of Rapid Creek in the northern Black Hills is the old gold mining town of Rochford. Not typical of a Western town, Rochford had very little violence, unlike the wild and woolly Lead and Deadwood just 21 miles to the north.
Rochford was founded in February 1877 by R.B. Hughes and M.D. Rochford. In March 1877, a mining district was established. By December 1878, Rochford had 200 houses, a population of 500, a solid block of stores with wooden, canopied sidewalks, a couple of doctors and a good school. By 1900 only a post office and 48 residents remained.
Today, "downtown" Rochford consists of the historic Moonshine Gulch Saloon and the Rochford Mall/antique shop. Down the road is the Rochford Community Hall/Fire Station. Several other historic buildings remain standing but have deteriorated over the years.
George S. Mickelson Trail
Join the 109-mile-long Mickelson Trail at the Rochford Fire Station trailhead. Follow the historic Deadwood to Edgemont Burlington Northern rail line where South Dakota's first rails to trails project is enjoyed by hikers, bikers & horseback riders. Fourteen trailheads, over 100 converted railroad bridges, four hard rock tunnels and numerous services along the trail. Gentle slopes and easy access.
Site Camping and Back Country Camping
Black Hills National Forest hosts several campgrounds near Rochford; campgrounds have a daily rate charge, but some are free. Back country camping, or "dispersed camping" is allowed on most Forest Service land away from developed reservoirs and campgrounds. Maximum stay for dispersed camping is 14 days in any 60-day period. Check out the Black Hills National Forest website for camping details.