Rockford is a mid-sized city located on both banks of the Rock River in far northern Illinois. Often referred to as "The Forest City", Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, Illinois, USA. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.7 square miles (147km sq), of which, 56.0 square miles (145km sq) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8km sq) of it is water. Neighboring communities that border Rockford, and are considered an integral part of the Rockford metro area, are Loves Park, Machesney Park, Belvidere, and the villages of Winnebago, Roscoe, Rockton, New Milford, and Cherry Valley. The Rock River is the traditional center of the Rockford area and is its most recognizable natural feature.