The City of Grand Rapids announced that a new boulder park will open at Highland Park in 2022.

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I had never heard of a "boulder park" before. I mean, I'd guessed that you'd find, well, boulders there... but for what exactly?

What is Bouldering?

Bouldering is a form of free climbing. As sport climbing made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics over the summer, "bouldering" along with "speed" and "lead" are the three medaled events in which athletes completed.

According to,

Bouldering is rock climbing stripped down to its raw essentials. Leaving behind ropes and harnesses and just using climbing shoes and a bag of chalk over safety mats, your challenge is to climb short but tricky bouldering "problems" (a route, or sequence of moves) using balance, technique, strength, and your brain.

Grand Rapids' New Boulder Park

The City's Parks and Recreation Department is working with the nonprofit Grand Rapids Boulder Project to bring the high quality boulder park to West Michigan.

According to WZZM-13, Williams & Works, a Grand Rapids engineering and surveying company, is working on the two 12-foot structures, which are climbing walls designed to look vaguely like outdoor boulders. So far, crews have poured concrete pads for the foundation of the climbing boulders at Highland Park at 523 Grand Ave. NW.

Grand Rapids Boulder Project says that routes at the new boulder park will change frequently to encourage repeated use. The boulders will be surrounded by manufactured wood surface. Informational signs will welcome visitors, inform of risk, highlight sponsors, and give instructional information.

The project is funded in part by the dedicated parks millage passed by Grand Rapids voters in 2013 to  repair, rehab, and add improvements to the city's parks, pools, and playgrounds.

The new boulder park is expect to be completed by spring of 2022.

Check out what other boulder parks in the U.S. look like here.

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