The Ballard Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle, WA are a fascinating tourist destination. Located on the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the locks allow ships to pass between the city’s northern and southern neighborhoods. Located between the neighborhoods of Magnolia and Ballard, the locks provide a scenic backdrop for a Seattle daytrip. Read on to find out more about this Seattle landmark!
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle WA are located on the Lake Washington Ship Canal and move boats between high and lower water levels. The locks are the busiest in the nation, moving over 50,000 vessels annually. While the Ballard Locks are not as modern as some of the other locks, they still serve a vital role in Seattle’s waterfront experience.
The locks are used to move boats from the Puget Sound. They are also used to keep lakes fresh and prevent salt water from mixing with fresh water. There are three different locks here; The first lock is for fish, the other for boats, and the last is for visitors. From the swinging walkways, you can watch the process. Bicyclists and runners also use the locks to cross the ship canal.
The Locks are open to the public from May to September. You can tour the facility by boat. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Seattle, WA, has a two-floor visitor center where you can learn about the history of the locks. It is located at 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, United States. You can visit the site seven days a week!
The Ballard Locks is a free tourist attraction in Seattle, WA. Visitors can walk around the grounds and view the locks and fish from underneath. It is an interesting attraction that offers a unique look at the Puget Sound’s harbor. It is also a great place to take a picnic! Just make sure you bring your picnic blanket.
For the best view of the locks, plan your visit during the salmon migration season. The locks are an important link for salmon and steelhead the migration between Puget Sound and the inland waters. You can view the fish as they migrate through the locks by viewing the underwater-viewing windows. In mid to late August and September, the population of Chinook/King salmon is at its highest.
If you are looking for a photo opportunity, take the time to visit the Carl S. English Gardens. These 7- acre gardens were designed by Carl S. English, an Army Corps of Engineers landscape architect. The gardens also feature Gas Works Park, one of the most unique parks in the world, which was once the site of the coal gasification plant of the Seattle Gas Light Company. Its landscape is one of the most scenic places in the city.
Another unique feature of the Locks is the kinetic Hammering Man sculpture, which is 48 feet tall and guards the downtown branch of Seattle’s largest art museum. It’s also an outdoor amusement park, with a dance fitness series and an extensive exhibition timeline.