Newport County Military Heritage Trail

From the Revolutionary War through the 20th century, Newport County has played a strong role in America's military history. Along this trail you can see world-class collections of militaria, explore coastal fortresses and visit Revolutionary memorial sites.

Artillery Company of Newport
The museum is considered to have one of the most outstanding collections of foreign and domestic militaria to be seen in the United States. Started in 1960, it has grown from a minute collection that today represents more than 100 countries throughout the known world. The command, Rhode Island Militia, chartered in 1741, is the nation's oldest military organization in continuous service under its charter. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and by appointment. 23 Clark Street, Newport; 401-846-8488; www.newportartillery.org

Fort Adams
The second-largest bastioned fort in the U.S. Key to Narragansett Bay area defenses, 1799 to 1945. Designed to be the most heavily armed fort in America and to garrison 2,400 troops. Three tiers of guns defended Narragansett Bay's East Passage. Situated at the mouth of the Newport Harbor, offers panoramic view of both Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. Activities including saltwater bathing, fishing, boating, soccer, rugby and picnicking. Fort Adams is perhaps best known for its annual summer concerts when the Jazz and Folk Festivals draw thousands to enjoy the music and beautiful surroundings. Dawn-dusk. Harrison Avenue, Newport; 401-847-2400; www.fortadams.org

Fort Adams

Fort Barton
Revolutionary War redoubt. It was the troop staging area for the invasion of Aquidneck Island and Newport and the eventual Battle of Rhode Island. Observation tower and three miles of nature trail walks. Excellent wild plant walk. Trail guides available at the town hall. Dawn-dusk. Highland Road, across the street from the town hall, Tiverton; 401-625-6700

Green End Fort
Built by British in 1777 as the eastern terminus of their Newport defense lines. Small grassy berm. North side of Vernon Avenue exit, Middletown; 401-847-1993

Memorial to Black Soldiers
On Aug. 29, 1778, during the Battle of Rhode Island the First Rhode Island Regiment, comprised primarily of black soldiers, made a gallant stand that thwarted a British attempt to flank the American line centered on Butts Hill Fort. Routes 114 and 24, Portsmouth; 401-222-2632

Fort Wetherill State Park
Situated upon 100-foot-high granite cliffs across the water from Fort Adams State Park is a former coastal defense battery and training camp. Known for its spectacular view of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. The park offers family and group picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking and exploring on the park's 61.5 acres of property. Fort Wetherill Rd., Jamestown; 401-423-1771; www.riparks.com/Locations/LocationFortWetherill.html

Area Map

Trail Information

Newport Gateway Center
23 America's Cup Avenue
Newport, Rhode Island

Shutterbug

Great spots for snapshots.

Arts and Antiques

Side trips for that one-of-a-kind find:

Curtain Call

Top off the day with an outstanding performance along the trail:

Off the Trail

Great side trips for outdoor fun:

  • Cliff Walk - stroll along the walk to see the rocky Atlantic coast and view the backyards of some of Newport's famed Gilded Age mansions. www.newportcliffwalk.com
  • Norman Bird Sanctuary - a 450-acre wildlife refuge offering over seven miles of hiking trails. www.normanbirdsanctuary.org
  • Ocean Drive - drive, walk or bike along 10 miles of scenic ocean coastline in Newport. www.tenmiledrive.com
Shopping Bag

Here are some tips on shopping along the trail.

  • Bowens, Bannisters and Sayers Wharf -shops and galleries along cobblestones streets and waterfront.
  • Brick Marketplace; Historic Thames Street
  • Famed Bellevue Avenue Shops
  • www.gonewport.com/nav.aspx?id=280
Taste Buds

Tasty tips along the trail.

Trail Mix

Did you know.

  • The International Tennis Hall of Fame has the only open public grass tennis courts in the country
  • The White Horse Tavern is the oldest operating tavern in America
Learning Curve

Learn more about Newport County at:

  • Museum of Newport History - provides the whole family with an overview of Newport's rich and varied history and architectural beauty. www.newporthistorical.org
  • Newport Historical Society Archives and Library - the Society features changing exhibits and has extensive holdings of colonial silver, china, portraits, ship models. www.newporthistorical.org
  • Redwood Library and Athenaeum - oldest library building in America - holds collections of 18th- and 19th-century portraits, sculpture, antique furniture, rare and unique books. www.redwoodlibrary.org
  • Jamestown Museum - 19th-century schoolhouse with permanent exhibit of memorabilia from Jamestown ferries and special annual exhibits
  • International Yacht Restoration School - see students restore classic yachts of yesteryear. Tour Coronet - the most historic American grand yacht still in existence. www.iyrs.edu