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Fort Wetherill

41° 28.753' N    71° 21.662' 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:

While there is a boat ramp here it is very steep and only recommended for light boats and especially hand-carried boats such as kayaks. The shoreline here is very scenic but the rocks are unforgiving and there is little shelter from the open ocean once you leave the tiny cove on which the ramp is located, so this area is best for experienced paddlers. This site is within Fort Wetherill State Park and as you would expect there are various parking lots as well as restrooms and other amenities. The parking lot closest to the boat ramp can fill up in the summer but there is more parking in the upper lots.

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.

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


Town: Jamestown

Nearest Town Center: Jamestown

Driving Landmarks: From Route 138 east (coming from the mainland) take the Jamestown exit (shortly before the toll booth for the Newport Bridge) and follow Conanicus Avenue through the center of Jamestown. South of downtown Jamestown, Conanicus Avenue becomes Walcott Avenue. Just keep following it until you get to the park, about a mile south of downtown Jamestown.

From Route 138 (i.e., coming from Newport) take the Jamestown exit (just after the toll booth). Turn right at the end of the ramp and go 0.4 miles to the T-junction with Conanicus Avenue. Turn left on Conanicus Avenue and follow it through the center of Jamestown. South of downtown Jamestown, Conanicus Avenue becomes Walcott Avenue. Just keep following it until you get to the park, about a mile south of downtown Jamestown.

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: The boat ramp is steep and in poor condition, but is suitable for launching hand carried boats. There is a sand and gravel beach next to the ramp.

Float/Dock: no

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to sunset, year-round. Seasonal facilities open May 1 through October 31


Parking: yes

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: Yes

Sources for More Information:

Website: Fort Wetherill State Park website

Website: Mike Krabach's kayak access website

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

Fort Wetherill State Park has panoramic views of the bay and various amenities including picnic tables, walking trails, and long stretches of rocky shoreline. The waters around Fort Wetherill are very popular with scuba divers so you can expect to see divers getting in and out of the water near the boat ramp.

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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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