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Fort Adams

41° 28.244' N    71° 20.177' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI mapper and shows the access site located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.
Map Server shows a topographic map of the area. The Map Server website is not part of
Acme Maps shows the access site located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of

This is a site for launching boats from trailers. Boat ramps can normally be used to launch canoes and kayaks but please do your best to keep the boat ramp clear for boat trailers.

Description & Overview:

There is a concrete slab boat ramp here at Fort Adams as well as docks, floats and parking. Additional parking is available in the upper lots. This site provides access to Newport Harbor and the East Passage. Newport Harbor is an interesting place to explore if you like looking at boats, but it is a busy harbor with very heavy marine traffic so caution is advised in small boats such as sea kayaks. Larger craft may not be able to see you or if they do see you they may not be able to turn or stop in time to avoid you. Heading out into the East Passage you should expect everything up to naval warships and freighters, so great caution is advised. In addition to the ship traffic, the East Passage is open and exposed and can get very rough. For experienced paddlers, heading around Fort Adams and out towards Brenton Point can provide some exciting paddling.

On most days the southwest wind fills in strongly in this area in the morning and blows briskly throughout the afternoon, producing strong waves once you are outside of the immediate harbor area, so be prepared for this when planning your trip.

(Parts of this description were adapted from Ed Mullen's Book "Kayaking Narragansett Bay" and from Mike Krabach's kayak access website.)

This site provides access to the following water bodies: Newport Harbor, East Passage.


Town: Newport

Nearest Town Center: Newport

Driving Landmarks: From downtown Newport head south on Thames Street, which is one way. Turn right on Wellington Avenue and follow it as it wraps around the harbor and then turns left and becomes Halidon Avenue. When Halidon meets Harrison Avenue turn right and go 1/2 mile to the entrance to Fort Adams State Park. Once in the park stay right and look for signs for the boat launch.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: ocean/bay

Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.

Type of Access: Boat ramp

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: Concrete boat ramp

Float/Dock: low float or dock

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to sunset, year-round


Parking: yes

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: There are no restrooms right at the boat launch but there are restrooms nearby beyond the picnic area and the pentagonal brick building you passed on the way to the ramp also contains restrooms.

Sources for More Information:

Other Guidebooks: Site 31 in Ed Mullen's book "Kayaking Narragansett Bay"

Website: Mike Krabach's kayak access website

Website: Fort Getty State Park website

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

Fort Adams State Park is one of the more popular state parks in Rhode Island. It is most famous for the music festivals that happen there, but there are also many other events and amenities at the park.

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The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for nautical charts, topographic maps, or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).

This site report was last updated on June 5, 2011

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