Overview of Nubble Light

Nubble Light

USA East


Nubble Light is a very picturesque location that offers easy access to some fine diving. Established in 1879, Nubble Light is off limits to visitors, but you can still get a good view of it from the park.

Directions: Located next to York Village, in Cape Neddick. From Route 1A in Cape Neddick (S. Main Street), follow Nubble Rd for about 1 mile. Turn left into Sohler Park.


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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

05/06/2018 Jennsnina (Avg: 3.41 Review) - Easy entry, compared to most rocky coasts. One big inclined plateau allows to walk all the way down to the water, even at low tide. Parking is right at the top of this plateau. Couldn't be easier (I'm in my mid 50s). No diving on Sundays - inconsiderate divers ruined it for the rest of us. Restrooms in the welcome center of this small park. No fees, donations welcome. 42F water, 30+ feet vis, kelp, lobster, starfish, crabs in all sizes, Raven fish.

07/02/2009 Carl Mottern (Avg: 3.58 Review) - 6-13-2009. I had a pre arranged dive set up with an acquaintance from a previous trip. Our party of three locals and I met in the lower parking lot on Saturday morning at 8:00 sharp. The sea was like glass, as was Nubble Light cove. The 75+ Degs air temp contrasted with the 50+F water temp in the region. Low humidity and no fog allowed a great view of Boon Island Light as well. Getting in the water proved to be the first challenge. Due to the low tide at that hour we had to carry most of our gear to a spot close enough to enter the water. There is a lot of hard clinging plastic like moss that is very slippery, making the gear trek dicey. Once geared up I had to find a spot that allowed a jump entry without banging my tank on the underlying rocks on the way down. That done we began our decent. The visibility was 30+ feet, and may have been hindered as most of the cove was still in some shadow caused by the island and lighthouse. But there was plenty to see. A large school of Pollacks, torpedo rays, crabs, lobsters, and a huge bright yellow Skate. The calm sea allowed easy navigation to the base of the island. We then made a left turn and proceeded in a NW direction. At low tide we bottomed out at 48' Max, as recorded by my computer. I got low on air so we finished with 45 minutes of dive time and snorkeled back to the parking lot area to try a water exit. This proved to be more difficult than it looked. We ended up tossing fins up on the rocks and crawling across the aforementioned clinging moss. Knee pads are a must here, or you risk the chance of tearing up your suit. Then the hike up the rocks with gear left me feeling like an old pack mule. Gotta get in better shape! Would I do it again? ABSOLUTLY! GREAT DIVE! Does the low tide cause problems? Yes, but nothing that cant be handled. Get there early! As we were packing up to leave, the parking lot was now full, and a charter dive showed up with 25+ divers. Would have made the cove a bit crowded.

10/21/2007 Jason NYC (Avg: 3.18 Review) - Well, my buddy and I drove up here from Boston during a visit from NYC and found some pretty rough conditions (many surfers on the beach lol) so we thumbed the dive and headed to old reliable Back Beach in Cape Ann. Still, I got a great look at Nubble Light and here are some impressions for the first timers that I hope will be helpful. It really is LOVELY so bring a camera for some topside shots. This is a great place to bring non-diving adults while you dive or to visit even if you don't dive it. We got there at low tide and as previous reviews state, the tidal swing is HUGE so slippery rocks are left exposed all the way down to the water line. Still, it wasn't too horrible, just be careful and go slow. At high tide I imagine the entry is pretty easy. Also, pick your path by walking it first and avoid the people fishing at the entry point. While you will be walking down hill during low tide, it's not very steep like at Cathedral Rock in Cape Ann. Nothing as bad as that. There is free parking at Sohier Park with an excellent view of the lighthouse. The lighthouse and grounds are not open to the public. Bathroom facilities (nice) but I'm not sure if they are open year round. Tons of restaurants close by. Enjoy! I can't wait to get back for a dive. Locally it is sometimes called Cape Neddick Lighthouse and is in York, Maine. Cool facts: Station established: 1879; Present lighthouse built: 1879; Automated: 1987. Construction materials: Cast iron lined with brick. Height of tower: 41 feet; Height of focal plane: 88 feet.

08/16/2007 Scott (Avg: 3.41 Review) - Getting into the water is tricky due to the rocks being slippery. Once in the water is was great. I saw Dog fish, Lobsters and Crabs. Nice rock formations, and great for beginners.

05/03/2007 Jason in NH (Avg: 3.73 Review) - This was my first dive since getting certified and it was awesome! There is a good variety of life from lobstahs to sea ravens and flounders. The parking is relatively convenient, and the entry is okay. (Donning the gear in the parking lot and walking to the entry site is a bit of a haul, but it's the only reasonable way.)

09/10/2006 Pierre Boudreau (Avg: 3.26 Review) - Good Dive. Saw a lot of fish and plant life!

08/23/2006 Marke Englert (Avg: 3.49 Review) - I've dove this site for the past 4 years on Labor day weekend, plus it was my 1st Open Water Dive when I was certified in the fall of 1984. As you can see this is a very popular location. Bring the camera if you have one, as you might see a wolf fish, Scolpin, Striped Bass, lobster, star fish and more. Be careful not to get out past the island as some strong currents can pull you out into boat traffic. Great site, just a little caution will take care of you. Have fun!

07/20/2006 Anonymous (Avg: 3.55 Review) - Easy to find and free parking. It was a great dive for me as a beginner / intermediate diver during high tide. Got to 37'. Saw lots of Lobster some coral, nice rock walls. Use extra caution with current between mainland and Island.

07/18/2006 Amburgey Dive Team (Avg: 3.72 Review) - I thought this was a great dive. There are a lot of rocks, a good amount of fish, and a lot of plant life. There are a lot of lobster but, being from Mass, seeing all of them and not even being able to take them, wasn't nice at all! But it is good practice for finding them back home. I loved diving here! The entry and exit are better at high tide or close to high tide.

06/19/2006 Manta (Avg: 4.00 Review) - My fellow divers have pretty much got it. If you dive it in the winter, be EXCEEDINGLY careful!! The entry rocks ice-up like nobody's business and if the waves slam into the sheltered cove from the north there is great danger of being slammed into the rocks if you don't time it just right. I went in 2 times on some pretty rough surge and surf. I call it the "giant washing machine". The best thing to do is before entry, dump your BC's air and go in heavy, get beneath the surge and surf as quickly as possible, kicking out into the cove, surface and wait for your team with your back into the waves. Then upon regrouping, descend and drop over the north wall for calmer conditions and better viz. Both dives that were nightmarish going in, were 2 of my most beautiful dives for the wall diving.

03/12/2006 Jake Jurczak (Avg: 3.23 Review) - Nubble Light, Man… us New England divers are used to resorting to our rock climbing skills to get in or out of the water, but at Nubble your walking skills will do ya. I parked 100 feet from the entry point, then I suited up at the back of my truck and casually strolled to the 58 degree calm ocean. This was my first dive here, and my dive buddy was my wife's friend Robin, who is a hearty New Englander with a sense of adventure. Robin has dove here before and showed me the ropes, so to speak, with her knowledge of the bottom topography as well as currents, vis, and various places to explore. The dive was a lot of fun, and other than a small equipment malfunction, we had a great dive. I spotted various species of marine life, such as lobsters, Pollack, and cunnards. I surfaced and saw a boat heading straight for us, so be careful and fly your flag. Leave your dive bag behind, bring a friend who knows the dive site [THANX ROBIN] and I'll see you there. Dive carefully because it's the North Atlantic!.

04/20/2005 Barb in NH (Avg: 3.62 Review) - Great site. Parking can be tricky because it is a tourist attraction. Limited bathroom availability. Great ice cream just down the street. The diving is varied. Rock wall on one side. Sand across the middle and rocks on the other. Variety of marine life as a result. No diving on Sundays during the summer season.

02/07/2004 Darren Obrigkeit (Avg: 4.50 Review) - Nice site, easy entry, good visibility depending upon conditions, very nice sea life and vegetation. Parking and crowds can be a challenge during nice summer days. Not sure if diving is allowed on Sundays at this site.

12/23/2003 Shawn (Avg: 3.05 Review) - Nubble is my favorite site in southern Maine / northern New Hampshire area (from shore). There is always animal life; stripped bass the size of your arm, flounder the size of your head, lots of cunner, scaulpins of all sizes, and crabs/lobsters galore. Sometimes you see rare sightings here; a torpedo ray was has seen/and almost mistakenly touched, schools of jack after a hurricane, Dog Fish too. There are pieces of pottery and glass bottles to be found, and vertical walls to look at too. Overall this is a pretty diverse place to do a fun dive. There is no diving on Sundays!!!! The entry is a bit tricky as it is down some ledge and boulders, and is very slippery, especially at low tide and if the spray has been moving up the rocks. The cove is protected when there is east - south winds; anything north of east and it will get rough. Visibility is subject to typical factors, but this is New England and we don't really need to see when we're diving.

02/14/2003 Nancy P (Avg: 3.43 Review) - My husband really likes this site, and at times I like it too. The water can be pretty cold, of course, and the visibility ranges from good to really bad. Pick a time when there have been no storms or rain, and you should get a good dive in. The area has a good parking lot, but usually has a bunch of tourists, so get there early. The entry can be a little tricky at low tide since the rocks can be very slippery. Take your time and you should be fine.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: ME0301


Entrance at Nubble Light 

This the corner of S. Main Street and Nubble Rd. looking North. Bear right here onto Nubble.




Parking at Nubble Light 

Parking is limited during tourist season, but get there early enough and you'll have no problem. Here is one of the many dive classes suiting up.




Overview at Nubble Light 

Off to the left of the parking, you'll find a trail to take you down the rocks to this staging area.


 Map     Sat
GPS: ME0304


entry at Nubble Light 

Here, during low tide, a diver finds a shelf to walk up.


 Map     Sat
GPS: ME0305


entry at Nubble Light 

Be careful, especially during low tide, of slippery rocks. You'll never know what hit you if you take a spill with 50 pounds of gear on.

Last Verification: November, 2003  


Diver Averages for  Nubble Light  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.33
Bottom Conditions:  3.93
Reef Conditions:  3.13
Animal Life:  4.07
Plant Life:  3.80
Facilities:  3.33
Solitude 2.00
Roads:  4.07
*Site Average:  3.54

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.93
Beginner Scuba:  4.00
Intermediate Scuba:  4.20
Advanced Scuba:  3.80
Night diving Scuba:  3.60

Number of reviews for this site: 15


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