Big Rapids, Michigan

By | May 8, 2023

According to, Big Rapids, Michigan is a city located in Mecosta County, in the central part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The city is situated on the banks of the Muskegon River and is surrounded by rolling hills, forests and farmland. The terrain ranges from flat to gently rolling, providing a mix of landscapes that provide recreation and relaxation opportunities for visitors and locals alike.

The climate in Big Rapids is considered to be humid continental, with hot summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures usually reach into the mid-80s Fahrenheit (30°C) while winter temperatures can drop below freezing (0°C). Precipitation occurs throughout the year but tends to be heavier during spring and summer months.

Big Rapids occupies an area of approximately 8 square miles (20 km2) and has a population of over 11,000 people. The downtown area consists mainly of small shops, restaurants and businesses that line the streets along with several historic buildings such as City Hall which was built in 1902. Other attractions include Ferris State University which was founded in 1884 as well as Roben-Hood Airport which serves as a hub for both private aircrafts and commercial flights.

Outdoor activities are abundant in Big Rapids due to its proximity to nature reserves such as Hemlock Park Nature Reserve or Pine Island Park Nature Reserve where visitors can explore hiking trails or take part in winter sports like skiing or snowmobiling. Other recreational opportunities include fishing on local rivers such as Muskegon or Tittabawassee River or taking advantage of nearby lakes for swimming or boating activities.

Big Rapids also offers many cultural events throughout the year including art festivals, music events, theatre performances and more at venues like The Big Rapids Community Theatre or the Eastbank Theatre Company. There are also plenty of dining options ranging from fine dining establishments to casual eateries that serve up local specialties such as pasties, smoked whitefish chowder or gooey butter cake.

Overall, Big Rapids provides a unique blend of outdoor activities, cultural experiences and Midwestern charm that make it an ideal destination for travelers looking for a true Michigan experience.

Big Rapids, Michigan

History of Big Rapids, Michigan

According to Allcitycodes, Big Rapids, Michigan is a small city located in Mecosta County, with a population of over 11,000 people. It is best known for being home to Ferris State University and its proximity to nature reserves and outdoor recreational activities. The city has a long and rich history dating back to the mid-1800s when it was first founded.

In 1855, the first settler in Big Rapids was William Montague Ferry who established a trading post near the junction of the Chippewa River and Muskegon River. This area would later become known as Ferryville. The city was officially founded in 1859 by George French and Horatio G. Earle but was not organized until 1869 when it became part of Mecosta County. The town was named after its location on the rapids of the Muskegon River which were used to power sawmills and gristmills that produced lumber for local homes and businesses as well as flour for breads and pastries.

In 1884, Ferris State University was founded by Woodbridge Nathan Ferris who believed that education should be accessible to everyone regardless of their social or economic status. In 1902, City Hall was built which still stands today as a reminder of Big Rapids’ rich history. During World War II, Big Rapids saw an influx of people due to its location near military bases such as Camp Custer which served as an Army training camp during the war years.

The city continued to grow throughout the 1950s and 1960s with new businesses popping up along Stewart Street such as gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and other retail establishments that catered to both locals and travelers alike. By 1970s Big Rapids had become a hub for outdoor recreation activities such as fishing on local rivers or taking advantage of nearby lakes for swimming or boating activities; this trend continues today with many visitors coming from all over Michigan to take part in these activities each year.

Today, Big Rapids is home to many attractions including Ferris State University which offers numerous educational opportunities; Roben-Hood Airport which serves both private aircrafts and commercial flights; Hemlock Park Nature Reserve where visitors can explore hiking trails; Pine Island Park Nature Reserve where they can partake in winter sports such skiing or snowmobiling; The Big Rapids Community Theatre; Eastbank Theatre Company; various shops, restaurants and businesses along Stewart Street; plus many more. Despite its small size, Big Rapids packs quite a punch when it comes to offering unique experiences that make it an ideal destination for travelers looking for a true Michigan experience.

Economy of Big Rapids, Michigan

Big Rapids, Michigan is a small city with a big heart. Located in Mecosta County, the city is home to the renowned Ferris State University and Roben-Hood Airport. It is also known for its outdoor recreation activities such as fishing and skiing, as well as its many attractions including Hemlock Park Nature Reserve and Pine Island Park Nature Reserve. The economy of Big Rapids has been driven by the presence of Ferris State University, which provides many educational opportunities to students from around the world. In addition, businesses along Stewart Street offer a variety of services ranging from restaurants and retail stores to gas stations and grocery stores.

The city’s economy is further supported by industries such as manufacturing, health care, education, construction, tourism and professional services. Manufacturing plays an important role in Big Rapids’ economy as it provides jobs to many people in the area. Several factories are located in town that manufacture products such as furniture components and automotive parts. Health care is another significant contributor to the local economy with multiple hospitals located in Big Rapids that provide medical care to residents and visitors alike. The education sector also provides jobs for teachers at Ferris State University as well as other local schools such as Big Rapids High School and Crossroads Charter Academy.

In addition to these industries, Big Rapids is home to several construction companies that help build homes for residents or businesses for entrepreneurs looking to open shop in town. Tourism has become an increasingly important part of Big Rapids’ economy over the years thanks to attractions like Hemlock Park Nature Reserve or Pine Island Park Nature Reserve which bring visitors from all over Michigan every year. Lastly, professional services are also provided by businesses such as law firms or accounting firms that help individuals or companies handle their finances or legal affairs in order to remain compliant with state regulations.

Overall, Big Rapids’ economy thrives due to its diverse mix of industries ranging from manufacturing and health care to education and professional services; this diversity allows it be resilient against economic downturns while still providing job opportunities for its citizens. With its unique attractions like Ferris State University or Hemlock Park Nature Reserve drawing visitors from all over Michigan each year; plus its strong infrastructure; it is no wonder why Big Rapids has become an ideal destination for travelers looking for a true Michigan experience.

Politics in Big Rapids, Michigan

Big Rapids, Michigan is an area with a rich history and a vibrant political culture. Located in the heart of Mecosta County, Big Rapids has been a hub of political activity since its founding in 1859. With a population of around 10,000 people, Big Rapids has seen its fair share of elections and debates over the years. From local races to national campaigns, the city has been home to some of the most important political moments in Michigan’s history.

At the local level, Big Rapids operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor serves as the chief executive and is elected to four year terms by city residents. The mayor is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and setting policy for the city government. The nine-member council is elected from seven wards across the city; each ward has one member on the council while two additional members are elected at large from across all wards. The council is responsible for passing ordinances that set policy for Big Rapids and approving budgets for each fiscal year.

Big Rapids also elects representatives to both state and federal offices from their district boundaries; these officials are chosen by voters in statewide or national elections every two or four years respectively. At the state level, Big Rapids elects representatives to both chambers of Michigan’s legislature as well as one U.S. representative who serves in Congress representing our district at large in Washington D.C.. On top of this, Mecosta County also sends two members to serve on Michigan’s State Board of Education which helps oversee public education policies throughout Michigan’s school districts; these representatives are chosen by county residents every two years during general elections as well as during special elections if vacancies occur between regular election cycles..

In addition to these traditional forms of politics, citizens of Big Rapids also engage in various forms civic engagement throughout the year such as attending town hall meetings or participating in voter registration drives; many organizations such as churches or non-profits also host events like candidate forums that help educate voters about their choices during election season. Ultimately, whether it be through electing officials or engaging directly with those who represent them; Big Rapids citizens have always been passionate about their political involvement which helps ensure that the city remains an active participant in our region’s politics today.