Fort Adams State Park
ABOUT FORT ADAMS
The original Fort Adams was designed in 1799 by Louis de Tousard a member of the Army Corps of Engineers as part of the United States’ first system of coastal defensive fortifications. The first fort served as an active military installment, housing soldiers during the War of 1812. After the war, a review of the nation’s defenses meant that the original structure was to be upgraded and outfitted with updated fortifications.
The new fort was designed by Brigadier General Simon Bernard, military engineer under Napoleon. Bernard designed the new Fort Adams in the classic style and it became the most complex fortification in the Western Hemisphere at the time. The new Fort Adams was first garrisoned in August 1841, and functioned as an active military post until 1950. During this time the fort was active in five major wars (the Mexican–American War, American Civil War, Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II) but was never involved in combat.
In 1953, the United States Navy took over the fort, and still uses some of the grounds for family housing. In 1965, the fort, and most of the surrounding land, was given to the state of Rhode Island for use as Fort Adams State Park, after which it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, in recognition for its distinctive military architecture, which includes features not found in other forts of the period. In 1994, the Fort Adams Trust was formed, which provides guided tours at the fort and oversees ongoing restoration work at the fort.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower lived at the former commanding officer's quarters (now called the Eisenhower House) during his summer vacations in Newport in 1958 and 1960.
In 1995 the Fort Adams Trust began giving tours at the fort from May to September. Since that time, the fort has had several areas of the fort restored as well as having its land defenses cleared of overgrowth.
Fort Adams State Park has a long history of hosting renowned events, including the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals since 1981, and numerous international sailing competitions. In partnership with Sail Newport, events like the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race North American Stopover, the 2012 America's Cup World Series, the World Match Racing Tour, and numerous others have called Fort Adams home.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, You Can: RECYCLE – RECYCLE – RECYCLE
There will be plenty of recycling, waste and compost containers throughout the village-please do your part and help protect this beautiful park and uphold the events sustainability goals.
Yes, You Can: STAY HYDRATED
PLEASE DO NOT BRING IN SINGLE-USE WATER BOTTLES, bring your refillable bottle and make use of our filtered water stations located around the Race Village – check your map for water drip symbol.
Bring in non-alcoholic drinks – but no glass containers please – lots of little feet to protect!
Yes, You Can: PARK
Parking at Fort Adams State Park will be available.
Yes, You Can: PICNIC
Bring in a picnic lunch - Although there will be a Race Village Cafe with a yummy menu
Yes, You Can: ENJOY AN ALCOHOLIC DRINK
Heineken, Mount Gay Rum and Moet will be on site, but only inside the bar areas that will be clearly marked and you must have an ID with you. No
one is allowed to bring alcoholic beverages of any kind into Fort Adams State Park
Yes You Can: TAKE PICTURES
However, no drones will be allowed for the safety of the race boats and the crowd
Yes, You Can: BIKE
Ride a bike into the cycle parking area (bring your own lock)
Yes, You Can: RELAX
Bring a blanket to enjoy the park, and lawn chairs under 30"
Bring sunscreen, but no umbrellas that block anyone’s view
Yes. You Can: COME BY DINGHY
Ok to arrive in your personal dinghy, under 15’ and tie up for three hours only at the Admiral’s Pier, south side (Sail Newport hoist docks at
south side designated area)
Yes, You Can: WALK AROUND AND ENJOY THE PARK
Enjoy the park during daylight hours, but no camping is allowed
There are tours of the Fort availabe. Visit the Fort Adams Trust website for historic information and how to take tours.
PLEASE OBSERVE AND FOLLOW THESE POLICIES – Please cooperate, we are guests of the State of Rhode Island in Fort Adams State Park
SMOKING: Volvo Ocean Race Newport encourages a smoke-free environment and asks that you respect the health of your neighbors at the event and refrain from smoking in any area where it may affect someone else. Smoking is prohibited under all tents and inside buildings. Please find an isolated area if you must smoke, and dispose of your butts properly. There is also no smoking within 50 ft of a state building-all building in the park are state buildings.
NO KNIVES OR WEAPONS
DOGS: Leave your pooch at home. We love dogs, but can’t have them in the Race Village (ok in the rest of the park but not in the Race Village – reminder, it’s against the law to leave animals in a vehicle).
NO BEACH BALLS – Who would think??? However, beach balls they end up in the bay and hurt the wildlife.
DRONES: Any use of drones/UAS in the vicinity of any public open-air event would violate Rhode Island’s Uniform Aeronautical Regulatory Act (UAR) and Aeronautics Regulations, constituting a misdemeanor. RIAC is enlisting the support of the RI State Police and local law enforcement departments to monitor and enforce this law.