The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks provide a link for boats between the saltwater of the Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal connecting to Lake Union and Lake Washington.
On the day of my visit to the locks there was a lot of activity. I think there was some racing or something going on and or it was one of the first days of the spring / summer when all the boats where getting out on the water again. As you can see from the picture the locks were full. A lot of people just come to watch the boats go through. As you approach the locks as well there is a nice heavily wooded area with plenty of nice flowers and stuff.
The Ballard Locks is worth visiting. It is the canal waterway with its locks between Lake Washington and the Puget Sounds.
Often times you can observe beautiful boats using these locks going to and from the Puget Sounds. Witnessed a couple in their kayak within one of the locks. The guy whipped out from his pocket a ring and proposed to his lady companion, who promptly accepted his proposal! How romantic! Another interesting feature is within a side building underground, there's an observation room which has glassed windows showing the water channels through which various species of salmon swim upwards toward Lake Washington during spawning season.
It was a very interesting place. We watched them lock boats up from the salt water Puget Sound into the freshwater lake Washington and vice versa. The fish ladder had viewing window to watch the salmon swim up to their spawning streams.(pictures taken did not develop. The saltwater area where the fresh water from the ladder spills into the sound was teeming with large salmon, getting used to the fresh water, it takes 4 or 5 days for the fish to acclimate themselves to the fresh water. There were also some art sculptures there. And the best part it is free.
If the Salmon are spawning I think this is a cool activity. You can go "underground" and watch the salmon as they attempt to swim through the locks. Additionally, the locks provide an interesting glimpse into how Seattle has altered its natural environment being squeezed between salt and fresh water.
If you are here in late summer the salmon are running, and in addition to watching the boats go up and down in the locks (connecting seawater to freshwater) you can watch the salmon jump around and you can see them through special viewing windows.
Visitors watch as boats make the transition from the fresh water of Lake Washington and Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound through Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, Seattle's Scandinavian neighborhood.
Locks is the gate between George Washington lake and the Ocean.
Salmons jump out of the surface for the lake water is not salty as the oceans waters : ))
While you're visiting the Locks, go across to the other side and descent down the steps. It's worth it, you can see the fish actually swimming upstream.....
Watching boats going through the locks, as they cross from Lake to Lake to the ocean. You can also see salmon through an underwater window