Old Garden Beach

Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.From the sidewalk, you’ll find stone walkway that drops you off directly onto the beach. In the summer there is a metal gangway, but it is removed for the colder months. From there, it’s a short walk across the sand and into the water. Depending on the tide, you might find a few rocks at the waters edge, but it’s a mostly a sand dominated entrance. There are a few dive paths you can take. If you head straight out from the beach, you’ll cross a sandy bay where crabs and snails abound. Big rock crabs can be seen buried in the sand, while hermit crabs scurry about. You also might find a flounder or two. Keep an eye out for the juvenile ones you are frequently found in this area. After ten minutes or so, you’ll reach the rock reef. You can also enter to the right of the beach; from there you’ll follow the rock piles until you find the rock reef. In the summer, this path leads from a Rockweed dominated area to the Kelp dominated reef. In the colder months, much of the algae covering is gone.

Even during the winter months when the seaweeds are gone, it still has the secret garden feel. Still plenty of life to see from the small crabs to the bigger Sculpin and Sea Ravens.
Old Garden Beach is located in scenic Rockport. It is one of the many options on Cape Ann available to divers, but it is favored for its easy entry. Residents have preferential parking, but if you time it correctly, it’s not a problem. Featuring a sandy beach that leads to a rock reef, Old Garden Beach is a dive site for all experience levels. Depths greater than 30 feet can be attained, but the beginning of the rock reef lies in the 18-20ft range.

Old Garden is an appropriate name, as you immediately feel like you’ve entered a garden once you’ve found the rock reef. Covered in red and green seaweeds that gently move through the waves, it truly feels like a secret garden under the sea. Once you’ve breached the first few feet of rocks, you’ll find giant fronds of Kelp hanging off the boulders. Swimming in and amongst the seaweeds you’ll find Cunner of all sizes – they tend to be a little camera shy. Each rock will be teeming with crabs ranging in size from that of your thumbnail to big enough to eat. Though you don’t want to mess with the grumpy big ones, you might get a finger pinched! Under the rocks, you’re almost guaranteed to spot a Lobster or two. Some are curious as to who’s making that bubbling sound, while others simply back further into their hiding spot.
The site is favored by beach goers, boaters, sailboaters, and more; be sure to bring a flag and follow the Massachusetts regulations. Divers enjoy the site for the aforementioned easy entrance, but also for the easy dive. You’ll find the regulars critters (crabs, lobster, cunner, and more) but you also might be gifted with a Sea Raven or Goosefish.Parking along Old Garden Road is not allowed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. However, if you visit during the week, you can park right along the beach. During the weekend and holidays, simply drop your gear off at the beach (there’s a small grassy park next to the entrance) and park a block or two away (metered parking).”For a thrill, have a mouthful of the delicious Cape Hedge sand. It’s good for the digestion, and it’s the most sustainable meal you’ll find this side of Canada!”

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Swim Guide is a free service that helps to connect millions of people just like you with local beaches and swimming holes. We depend on financial support from individuals and organizations to restore and protect access to water for all people.Old Garden Beach is a small sand and stone beach on Sandy Bay. There are picnic benches for lunch and this quiet beach will give those looking for some seclusion all they could ask for.

Esta es la versión de nuestro sitio web destinada a quienes hablen español en Colombia. Si eres residente de otro país o región, selecciona la versión correcta de Tripadvisor para tu país o región en el menú desplegable. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. This is also a popular cove for lobstermen to plant their lobster traps. The lines can be difficult to manage with a flag at high lobster season. Pay particular attention to the angle of your flag line through the entire dive. If you notice the flag line being pulled behind you as you swim the flag line may be too long or it may have gotten caught on a trap line. Swim back in the direction your line is going while periodically looking up to try to see where the trap line and flag line are crossed and untangle them.

When rocks are exposed or under knee deep water near shore slipping and falling or twisting an ankle can be a serious concern. Be careful and deliberate with each step while walking around them.The depth of this site isn’t so great that it’s much of a concern as a hazard. In fact any incidents or accidents that have been recorded here all have happened in the shallows near the shore. The protected cove near shore gives a sense of comfort and divers can tend to separate here on their way back in. The end of a dive is of course always a vulnerale time having just exerted some energy so, as always we enourage all dive teams to stay together until fully exited from the water.

DURING THE WEEK – You can park right in front of the grass knoll above the dive site. This is one of the aspects that makes this such a great place for a mid week dive. The only spot that is ALWAYS NO PARKING is directly in fron of the walkway. Also the sidewalks are basically on street level. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE SIDEWALK. Keep all wheels on the street when parking. The locals get annoyed when they can’t walk on the sidewalk because there is a car parked on top of it.If lobstering be sure that you are licensed, have a gauge for the area you are lobstering in, have your numbers on your cylinder and flag, and don’t land any shorts, longs, notches, or eggers. For more information please reference the mass.gov regulations site here.Jerry Shine provided much of the written dive site content on the shore diving sites around New England from his 2005 publication: A Shore Diving Guide to New England which is currently out-of-print. His 2017 publication A Year Underwater: Twelve Months of Diving, Fraternizing with Marine Life, and Just Having a Great Time, from the St. Lawrence River to West Palm Beach is available for purchase on Amazon.