City Attractions

Ballard Locks

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, built in 1911 and often nicknamed the Ballard Locks, provides a link for boats between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal, which connects eastward to Lake Union and Lake Washington.

Tourists and locals enjoy watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts passing through, as the locks' water levels are adjusted to allow their safe passage.

Another popular spot is the fish ladder, built to allow salmon to pass between fresh and salt water, and to navigate the locks. Glass panels below the water line make it possible to watch the fish as they swim through the ladder.

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Just north of the locks are the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Garden, perfect for a relaxing stroll all year round, and the Visitor Center, which features displays on the history and operations of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks