Notes about things regarding scuba diving that I have come to know.

Pete's Southern Maine Regional Dive Site Guide
Middle Beach, Kennebunk

Kennebunk's major beach is a long rambling seaside affair and is actually 3 beaches. To the south is Mothers Beach and it features a playground and parking lot. At the north end starting at the Kennebunk River is Gooch's Beach. This is a huge flat sandy expanse. Nestled in between is Middle beach the water entry's are big banks of sea stones and cobbles.

As a dive site the unique feature is the clay reefs.You will spot barren banks of gray solid clay. If you wipe one with a gloved finger you will get a material much like common modeling clay. The clay will be pot marked with critter burrows. As you dive on the site you will encounter intermittent clouds of "clay dust" that cloud the water for a period.The clay reefs will appear as plateaus rising 1-2 feet from the flat rocky bottom of the cove. Lobsters and crabs can be found burrowed into the clay. On some surfaces the clay is undert along the bottom making a good collection point for artifacts.

Due to the shape of the cove and the offshore ledge there is usually a noticable current in this site. It's nothing to be concerned about other that accounting for it in your navigation.

The entry point is where there is a drive through break in the sea wall near 195 Beach Avenue. The seawall has a broad flat concrete top that is great to set-up on. We usually go down the left side and work that cove. We have entered on the right and circled around as well. The bottom will range from minor ledges of clay and granite to small stone cover with plant growth. I don't recall seeing any sandy bottoms here except near the seawall.

Don't expect this to be a deep dive but it remains a basin through all tides. At high tide you can break 20 feet in the areas we have visited. With the street side entry and with roadway and neighborhood lighting it makes a very nice night dive location.

At this site we have seen sea ravens, sculpin, lobster, crabs, squid, rock gunnell and winter flounder to name a few.

This site is also a great skin-dive. I like to head out to the ledge off shore and explore the shallows around it. On a clam day you can get to the ocean side and see some good sized star-fish. Big schools of striped bass right near the seawall are not unheard of.

A local ordinance reserves this beach for residents or those willing to pay at town hall for a parking pass. Parking at Kennebunk beaches during the period from June 15th through September 15th of each year shall be by permit only. Parking is allowed from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. 1 Day Permit $15.00, 1 Week Permit $25.00, Full Season Permit $50.00. Needless to say this site is best reserved for the off season. Local ordinance link, section 2-5 , fee link.

This Dive Site at a Glance:

  • SCUBA: Yes
  • SKIN-DIVE: Yes
  • PARKING: Restricted, see description
  • TOILETS: Gooches and Mothers beaches in season
  • TIDE: Any
  • SEASONS: Any
  • EXPOSURE: S
  • ENTRY/EXIT: Easy, moderate cobble slope
  • FOOD: None
  • GPS: 43.345475,-70.491505
  • Google Maps accepts GPS points.

We generally do something like the yellow route but may venture out farther.

This page created January 2008