Fort Adams State Park

Steeped in history, Fort Adams State Park is perhaps best known for its annual summer concerts when the jazz and folk festivals draw thousands to enjoy the music and beautiful surroundings.

Fort Adams State Park

Situated at the mouth of the Newport Harbor, Fort Adams State Park offers an exceptional panoramic view of both Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. Before being deeded to the State of Rhode Island in 1965, Fort Adams had served the U.S. Navy for ten years and the U.S. Army for more than a century. Today the park offers a wide range of activities, including tours of the historic fort, saltwater bathing, fishing, boating, soccer, rugby, and picnicking.


  • Bicycling
  • Stroller-Friendly Paths
  • Roller Blading
  • Birding
  • Saltwater Fishing
  • Paddling
  • Walking and Running
  • Picnicking
  • Weddings


  • Playing Fields
  • Fishing Pier
  • Picnic Tables
  • Science Education
  • Canoe Kayak Launch
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Restroom Facilities

Fort Adams Trust: Historic Fort Adams is operated by the Fort Adams Trust, a non-profit with a mission to protect and promote historic places and public spaces at the gateway to Narragansett Bay and Newport. The Fort often hosts guided tours and special historical events like reenactments of battles and the daily lives of soldiers in a historical setting. The original defenses still standing include walls, powder magazines, guns and cannons, and tunnels. The fort also welcomes people to seasonal events, like its Halloween season Fright and the Fort Fun House. For hours and information, visit


Sail Newport, a non-profit organization based at Fort Adams, offers instruction and rentals of sailboats and windsurfing equipment. Sail Newport also hosts sailing events and races with the park as its home base. For hours and information, visit

Aerial view of Fort Adams State Park with the historic fort during the Newport Folk Fest

Reserving Space

Scheduling a school visit? Planning a field trip or gathering?

  • Reservations and rental fees are required to use pavilions, shelters, gazebos, designated fields, and picnic tables from the 2nd Saturday in April to October 31, annually.
  • Outside of these reservation periods, all areas become first come/ first serve with no rental fee required.
  • Regardless of the time of year, you will need to contact the individual Park Office or contact RI State Park Headquarters or by emailing if you intend to use the parks for an organized group gathering or event to determine if the activity requires a Special Use Permit.

History Of Fort Adams State Park (1965)

Fort Adams State Park

Before being deeded to the State of Rhode Island in 1965, Fort Adams had served the U.S. Navy for ten years and the U.S. Army for more than a century. The Fort rests at an elbow to the entrance of Newport Harbor. Ships need to enter the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, passing the Coast Guard station and lighthouse at Castle Hill and the Hammersmith Farm of the Kennedy family, before coming broadside to Fort Adams on the east and Fort Wetherill on Jamestown to the west. This ‘choke point,’ commanded before Fort Adams by a colonial battery on one side of the passage and Fort Dumpling on the other, was a good location to foil sea invaders to Newport Harbor, which lies beyond these sentinels. Further up the passage was another fort on Goat Island. In colonial times this emplacement which formed a kind of triangle with the former was known successively as Fort Anne, Fort George, and Fort Liberty.

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