What Exactly Happens on Punk Island in Grand Rapids?
Ask someone from Grand Rapids and you're sure to hear lots of stories about Punk Island.
First things first, we should say that Punk Island is simply its common name. The island in the middle of the Grand River is properly named Jackson Island or more generically Island Number 3.
It's also an island you can't legally be on. While Jackson Island is publicly owned, according to this reddit discussion thread, Grand Rapids police will arrest trespassers.
Punk Island Tales
Grand Rapids Underground shared this story of Jackson Island:
The island is full of lost memories and forgotten lore and various homeless folk. The island is beneath the Wealthy train bridge off Market ave downtown. About halfway across you'll find yourself upon a scaffold which will lead you down to the island, although sometimes It's a ladder and sometimes it's a rope or nothing at all. If there's nothing at all, I advise you to cease going down. Jackson Island is a wonderful place, next time you're with the family on vacation think about swinging by and roasting some hot dogs before you go off to the ballet or the zoo.
No Ordinary Light blog has photos of the railroad bridge leading to Punk Island and continues the island legends,
Punk Island, so-called supposedly because down and out punk rockers once squatted there during the summer months. Also known as Jackson Island, last remaining interurban island in the Grand Rapids portion of the Grand River.
The island can flood when the river rises. The Grand Rapids Historical Commission shared a photo from 2013 when the river rose around the island and shared this history:
Flood stage on the Grand River is considered to be 18 ft. In April of 2013 the river peaked at 21.85 ft., breaking the prior record of 19.64 ft. of 1985.
The patent for Island No. 3 was registered in 1841 by Richard Godfroy.
Just remember, if you get an inkling to explore Punk Island, it is not an accessible park and you can get arrested for trespassing.