A quirky local favorite, the silvery artwork of Fish Ladder Park lures fish fans of all ages to watch several species put on a spectacle as they “climb” the ladder by jumping from pool to pool. Designed by artist Joseph Kinebrew, the Fish Ladder provides a practical function, as well as aesthetic pleasure. The Ladder gives migrating fish the means of dodging the powerful water flow at the man-made rapids in the Grand River. Instead of being stopped on their path up and down the Grand River, they leap up the stair-step concrete pools. A specially designed viewing structure allows visitors to see fish as they pass by.
Large steelhead may be seen in the spring, while Coho and chinook salmon are best viewed in early fall. Other species, such as carp, might be viewed here any time of year. Carp are exuberant jumpers that provide lots of entertainment. Free parking is available adjacent to the Fish Ladder and also nearby on the street. Grab takeout downtown and spend a relaxing 30 minutes watching fish before strolling on a scenic walkway bridge to nearby museums and parks. The views of the Grand River and downtown Grand Rapids are also free!