Overview of Old Garden Beach

Old Garden Beach

USA East


Old Garden Beach is in a small and very scenic residential area of Rockport. It used by divers of all skill levels due to its ease of entry.

Directions: At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn left (following SR 127A) onto Thatcher Road. After 4.3 miles, turn right onto Calebs Lane, and travel almost to the end (.25 miles), turning left on Old Garden Rd. The Beach will be on your right.


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04/04/2009 Thierry (Avg: 2.85 Review) - February... very cold but great visibility around 30 feet! We were not lucky on our dive, not much to see, although the week before or after they saw quite some life around there. This is really a good choice during winter due to the ease of access and not much risk entering the water. Downside is you have to swim quite far to start getting down a bit.

06/05/2007 Mikhail Frenkel (Avg: 3.30 Review) - It's a nice and pretty dive site. Parking is ample about 100 yards away from the sites, however, there is a parking lot where the gear could be unloaded. Depth reaches about 40 feet. Marine life includes lobsters, crabs, flounders, sand dollars, and there are lots of boulders on the right side.

11/13/2006 LobstaMan (Avg: 3.50 Review) - Finally got to dive OGB on Veterans' Day '06. Parking wasn't bad (for Cape Ann)--drop your gear at site, park about 1/8 mile up road on Atlantic and walk back. The entry, walking down the ramp across the sandy beach, is about as easy as it gets. Bit of surge, surf and slight current until about 20fsw, then it lessened. Viz (15') was acceptable given the conditions. Not much marine life on this day, but nice u/w topography with lots of large and XL boulders strewn about the bottom. Max'd out at 32fsw with 49F at depth. You can get as deep as 55fsw or so. I was advised to head out to the green buoy on the right side of entry point (about a 240 heading), but many go straight out from the entry. Overall, this is a recommended site for beginner, refresher and intermediate divers, but not much for the advanced/tech types (unless trying out new gear).

01/18/2005 Alan Shepard (Avg: 3.43 Review) - Old Garden Beach is an okay dive site where I don't find marine life as abundant as at other Cape Ann sites. I have however encountered dogfish here. Entry/exit is a simple walk in the water from a sandy beach. Parking can be a problem as it is for residents only, although out of season I have gotten away with parking there. There is a sign that warns divers that night diving is prohibited but I'm not sure it has any legal standing.

12/01/2004 Jim Blake (Avg: 4.05 Review) - Day after Thanksgiving- air temp: 40, water temp: 50! No surf, little wind. Great off season parking at head of the ramp. Relatively shallow dive (30 feet), but with 15-20 ft viz, lots of interesting nooks and crannies in the rocks, with sponges and various sea-weeds. We saw crabs and a school of young cod, but the only lobster was already in a trap. Swam out on a course of 060M and returned on the reciprocal. An ebbing tide and resultant current made the surface swim back seem a bit long but the dive was worth the effort.

09/01/2004 Michael Stricklen (Avg: 3.34 Review) - A very nice dive located in an uppity part of Rockport. Don't leave your vehicle parked in the lot or on the street next to the beach. Unload from the street and park a block back on a side street (or find yourself towed!) Be respectful of the residents, and they will tolerate you. Ignore the "No Night Diving" rule posted, this is contrary to Massachusetts law and cannot be enforced. A short surface swim will lead you to some fantastic rock reef inhabited by many forms of wildlife. I've picked up scallops a little further out, and one of my favorite lobstering spots is here (but I won't tell where!)

08/05/2004 Jason NYC (Avg: 2.95 Review) - This public beach in Cape Ann is crowded on Saturdays with divers and swimmers of all ages but everyone seems to get along and have fun. No bathrooms and a small parking lot that is only for residents make this a tough place to park but once you get your stuff there the ease of shore entry (walk in the water from a sandy beach) and atmosphere make it an enjoyable place to dive. If you do park in the lot, you will be ticketed and then towed. One poor guy was left with nothing but his dive gear as he watched (from the water) his car get towed! The dive itself is a matter of snorkeling out about 100+ yards and dropping down to 20-40 feet where you will find kelp and plant covered boulders with lobster hiding EVERYWHERE! Crabs, stripers, starfish and more. Max depth for us was 39ft and I had 52 degrees on August 1st at depth. Chilly but only slight current and no surf on a very calm and sunny day. Gear up on the "monument" area by the lot once you unload your stuff. Restrictions are many at this spot so notice the sign that says you can't do anything like park, yell, and sit in the grass. Police seem most concerned about protecting local resident's privacy (understandably) but they can get a bit annoying when you consider that we put money into the community. However, the community seems to have plenty of money so divers are only tolerated in small doses. Just a rant. All in all, a very easy dive but not as good as our other dives on this trip. Folly Cove has this one beat by a mile!


Site Photos

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Sign at Old Garden Beach 

Click the picture to get better view of how to be good diving citizen.

Trail Head

 Map     Sat
GPS: MS0802


Trail Head at Old Garden Beach 

It doesn't get much easier than this.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MS0803


entry at Old Garden Beach 

A lot of kelp and a few scattered fish bones will grace your entry, and should not be much of a problem.




Overview at Old Garden Beach 

Be careful of the swells, as there are a few boulders hidden in the surf zone.

Last Verification: November, 2003  


Diver Averages for  Old Garden Beach  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  5.00
Bottom Conditions:  3.57
Reef Conditions:  3.14
Animal Life:  2.86
Plant Life:  3.14
Facilities:  2.00
Solitude 3.00
Roads:  4.29
*Site Average:  3.35

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.00
Beginner Scuba:  4.43
Intermediate Scuba:  3.86
Advanced Scuba:  3.00
Night diving Scuba:  3.00

Number of reviews for this site: 7


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