Frequently Asked Questions

What is there to do at Fort Williams Park?

The opportunities for all ages are almost endless. They include:

  • View the historic Portland Head Lighthouse
  • Hike
  • Explore military ruins
  • Enjoy great food from the food carts
  • Go birding
  • Paint
  • Walk a dog
  • Watch crashing waves on the rugged coast of Maine
  • Fly a kite
  • Play at the beach
  • Watch a soccer game or tennis match
  • Climb on the rocks
  • Photograph
  • Visit the Lighthouse Museum

What is there for children to do at Fort Williams Park?

In addition to the above, children can:

  • Play at either of two playgrounds
  • Find geocaches
  • Explore the Children’s Garden
  • Go sledding in winter
  • Ride bikes on Park paths
  • Play a soccer or baseball game

Why was the Friends of Fort Williams Park established?

The mission of the Friends is to preserve and enhance the natural resources and visitor experience of Fort Williams Park by providing planning and stewardship for projects that support the Park’s ecology, accessibility, and open space.

Who is responsible for the Park?

  • The Cape Elizabeth Town Council has ultimate responsibility for the Park, which is Town property.
  • The Fort Williams Park Committee (FWPC) is appointed by the Town Council to monitor the capital needs, maintenance and operational policies of the park and make resulting recommendations to the Council. It provides partial funding for work in the Park using money raised from activities within the Park.
  • The Cape Elizabeth Public Works Department implements the recommendations of the FWPC directly or through sub-contractors.
  • The Friends of Fort Williams Park, an independent tax qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization, raises money from sources outside the Park to provide funding for its work in the Park.

What projects have been identified for Friends support?


  • Ecology Project: Cliffside
  • Ecology Project: Lighthouse View
  • Ecology Project: Children’s Garden
  • Informational signage at Kitty’s Point
  • Engineering study of the parade ground bleachers
  • Feasibility study of Battery Blair restoration
  • Engineering study of Goddard Mansion


  • Ecology Project Master Plan (formerly, Arboretum Project)


  • Ecology Project: Cliff Walk Landscape

The Museum at Portland Head Light is an IRS qualified charitable organization. Why is the Friends needed?

The charter of the Museum at Portland Head Light requires that all profits from the operation of the museum and gift shop be used to maintain the lighthouse, the museum and adjacent grounds. The Friends supports other areas of the Park.

What fundraising activities does the Friends undertake?

Board members and staff explore all possible avenues of fundraising including: capital campaigns, annual appeals, merchandise sales, special events (such as the annual Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour), grants from private charitable foundations and the government, and bequests.

Why should anyone outside Cape Elizabeth contribute to the Friends?

Traffic studies have shown that less than 15% of the visitors to the Park are residents of Cape Elizabeth. The Friends seeks support from the Greater Portland area and beyond to achieve its goal of free and open access for everyone.

How popular is Fort Williams Park?

Somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people visit the Park each year.

How can I make a donation to the Friends today?

Click the button below to donate to the Friends of Fort Williams Park.
Donate to Friends of Fort Williams Park

I would like to help with the Friends and its projects. What do I do?

The work of the Friends depends on help from volunteers and donations from supporters.  You may contribute in multiple ways:

  • Make an unrestricted gift
  • Make a gift designated for a specific project
  • Make a bequest
  • Make a gift of securities
  • Make a gift of your time

Donate VolunteerContact Us

Are contributions and bequests to the Friends tax deductible?

The Friends of Fort Williams Park is a tax qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization, incorporated in the State of Maine, which is neither controlled by nor financially supported by the Town. Contributions to the Friends are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Please consult your tax adviser for additional information.

Where can I find out more about the Friends?

For additional information, you may contact the Friends’ office at 207-767-3707, send an e-mail to the Friends using the Contact Us Page, or write to the Friends at PO Box 6260, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107.


Back to top