The Gloucester/Rockport area of Massachusetts is unique in the number of spectacular shore dives it boasts. Divers will visit sites such as Old Orchard Beach and the Back/Front Beaches time and time again for each dive will be slightly different than the last. However, Folly Cove proves to be a fan favorite. Facing slightly northwest, it has a rock ledge wall on the left side and a rocky coast on the right. A cobblestone beach leads into a sandy bottomed cove.
Many local underwater photographers frequent this site as it boasts almost all of the species local to New England. Some of the species you might encounter include: Winter Flounder, Pollock, Cunner, Rock Crabs, Lady Crabs, Lobster, Green Sea Urchin, and if you’re lucky a Sea Raven or Torpedo Ray!
Like any New England site, the visibility at Folly Cove varies, but is generally on the “better” end of the scale. If you are accustomed to the visibility of a site like Stonington Point, a good day at this site will seem almost Caribbean in comparison. The cove has depths between 10-30ft and drops off to depths greater than 60ft as you approach the mouth. Many divers suggest surface swimming to the left side and dropping down to extend your bottom time exploring the wall.
Both sides of the cove provide easily navigable walls and rock piles to explore. If the wall is on the left on your way out, it should be on the right on your way back. You’ll find a plethora of marine life in, on, and amongst the rocks. But don’t forget to also check out the sandy stretch in between the sides as many creatures can be found swimming and crawling around.
The cobblestones can create a precarious entrance during slack and low tide. Plan to arrive just before the peak of high tide to lessen the affect of the slippery rocks.
The small parking lot is for residents only, however you are allowed to temporarily park and unload your gear. Free parking can be found by continuing along Rt. 127 towards the Lobster Pool – either directly across from the restaurant or at the state park.