(Last Updated On: February 22, 2023)
Fort Wetherill State Park. The fort is just behind the trees.

Fort Wetherill State Park. The fort is just behind the trees. Photo: JMPelletier, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sitting on the East Passage of Narragansett Bay opposite Fort Adams State Park lies Fort Wetherill State Park.

Adopting an imperious position, on a 100 foot high granite cliff, the fort was once a coastal defense battery camp.

It is set across 61.5 acres and features the ruins of a 19th-century structure which was used during both world wars.

Today this Rhode Island state park is better known for showcasing exceptional views of Newport Harbor as well as being a major viewing point for America’s Cup Races and Tall Ship Events.

In addition, the park is a popular spot for boating, hiking, fishing and picnicking, while it is also a prominent destination for scuba diving as well. So much so, that diving clubs from Rhode Island, New York State, Massachusetts and Connecticut use the facilities available at its boat ramp throughout the year.

As the park is a day use facility only you won’t be able to camp here, but given that it is only a 5-minute drive to downtown Jamestown, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding somewhere near it to stay.


Visitors to Fort Wetherill State Park can enjoy several outdoor recreational pursuits during their time at this public recreational space.

Presented below are just a few of the most popular leisure activities you can take part in whilst you are there.

Fort at Fort Wetherill State Park

One of the main attractions at the park are remains of the historic military fort.

Built in the late 19th century to defend against potential naval attacks, the fort was used for training purposes during World War I and II, before being decommissioned in 1946.

The fort’s structures and bunkers still stand and are open for exploration to park visitors. Its unique architecture and history offer a fascinating glimpse into Rhode Island’s military past.

Boating at Fort Wetherill State Park

Whether you are interested in cruising or sailing, the park’s location at the mouth of Narragansett Bay makes it an ideal spot for boating.

If you have your own vessel, you will be able to launch it from the park’s boat ramp which is available for public use.

The park also offers a small beach area which is great for launching kayaks and canoes, as well as stand-up paddle boards.

Scuba Diving at Fort Wetherill State Park

As previously mentioned, Fort Wetherill State Park is a very popular destination for scuba diving enthusiasts, thanks to its clear waters and abundant marine life.

The park offers easy access to several dive sites, which are home to a variety of fish, crustaceans, and other sea creatures.

Scuba divers can explore the remnants of sunken vessels such as the USS Massachusetts, a battleship that was sunk in 1921 and has since become a popular site for diving. The park offers scuba diving classes and equipment rentals for both beginners and experienced divers.

Fishing at Fort Wetherill State Park

Fishing is a popular activity at Fort Wetherill State Park, with anglers flocking to the park’s rocky shoreline to catch striped bass, tautog, and other species.

If you don’t fancy fishing by the shoreline, you can always head out onto Narragansett Bay in a boat.

Either way, you will need a valid Rhode Island fishing license in order to do so.

Picnicking at Fort Wetherill State Park

Fort Wetherill State Park offers several picnic areas with tables and grills, making it a popular spot for families and groups to gather for a meal.

The picnic areas are located throughout the park, and visitors can choose a spot with a view of the water or a more secluded spot in the woods.

The park’s grassy areas are also ideal for playing games, tossing a frisbee, or simply relaxing in the sun.

Birding at Fort Wetherill State Park

Given its waterside location, Fort Wetherill State Park is home to several species of birds.

If you are into birding, you will want to bring your binoculars with you for the chance to spot a range of seabirds, including gulls, cormorants, and ospreys.

Within the wooded areas, you can also spot a variety of songbirds and woodpeckers, as well as raptors like hawks and eagles.


Fort Wetherill State Park is a pet-friendly park, and visitors are welcome to bring their four-legged friends with them on their trip here.

However, you will need to ensure that your pooch remains on a leash all the time they are there and that they are well behaved too. If they are not, you could be asked to leave the park.

The park offers plenty of areas where dogs can run and play, and there are also several trails where visitors can take their pets for a walk. That said, there are some places where dogs are prohibited from entering.

For a complete overview of where they are, and the park’s overall pet policy, it is worth contacting the main office for further clarification.


As there are no camping facilities at Fort Wetherill State Park you will have to stay at a campground elsewhere if you require overnight accommodation for your visit.

Luckily there are a few options in the surrounding area including those located at other state parks and on private campgrounds.

A couple to consider include Fishermen’s Memorial State Park in Narragansett and Burlingame State Park in Charlestown. Both of these are within a 15 – 20 minute drive of Fort Wetherill and feature a range of accommodations including tent and RV sites with hookups for water and electricity, as well as cabins and group camping.

Depending on where you choose to stay, the amenities there might include hot showers, flush toilets, a playground and dump station. As they both get pretty busy, especially at weekends and during the holidays, it is worth making a reservation prior to your stay there.

Park Location

Fort Wetherill State Park
3 Fort Wetherill Road
Jamestown, RI 02835
Phone: 401.423.1771

Park Website



Here is a video showcasing some drone footage of Fort Wetherill State Park: