Famous for exciting sailing and water sports, Newport Rhode Island also offers fun and adventure on land with the re-opening of Fort Adams on May 19 at 10 a.m. The Fortress underwent extensive construction over the winter and for those looking for things to do in Newport, there is more going on than ever.
Historic Fort Adams is a National Historic Landmark, and the largest and most complex coastal fortification in North America. Visitors to the Fortress can explore the fort and outer defensive works, take a two mile walk around the peninsula on the Bay Walk, relax on the grass overlooking Narragansett Bay, fly kites or play Frisbees, even picnic. The park is dog friendly.
“Fort Adams was started in 1824, motivated by the British attack and burning of Washington, DC. It was completed in 1857. The Fortress was continually manned and active from 1841, before it was totally completed, until the 1950s. While the Fort’s job changed though the years as military science changed, it performed valuable service defending the United States for over 100 years," Rob McCormack, Director of Visitor Experience noted.
McCormack continued, “As you walk through the Fortress today, you can see where the soldiers lived, understand how the defenses worked, and get a real taste of what it was like to have been stationed at this major military center. You can also experience architecture and engineering similar to the castles and cathedrals of Europe. But we’re a lot closer to home.”
Site Manager Jack McCormack stresses the unique aspects of Fort Adams versus the other remaining coastal fortifications.
“First of all, it’s large; very large. The parade field in the center of the Fortress is 6 ½ acres. You can put Fort Sumter, Fort Ticonderoga and Fort McHenry all inside the walls of Fort Adams.”
“This Fort also comes complete with every bell and whistle of the era," he said. “It was our laboratory for building forts. They tested everything here. In fact, the chief engineer went on to become the head of the Army Corps of Engineers.”
“Starting in December of last year, we began a construction project to open up more of the Fort to visitors,” adds Rob. The outer defensive works, literally a ‘kill zone’ for anyone trying to attack the Fort, was cleaned up for the first time in 50 years. The landscape and masonry structures comprising the outer defenses are massive.”
Tours of the Fort include visiting the mysterious underground tunnels designed to connect parts of the fort together and for listening for enemy attacks. And, according to Zach and Noah Rollins of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, they are, “Very, very, cool.”
For more information about Fort Adams, tours, events and activities, visit http://www.fortadams.org.