nature trips

dogs on leash

wild flowers

trail running



kid friendly

horseback riding

mountain biking


Located at the base of the Sierra foothills, about 25 miles east of Sacramento, the lake and recreation area offers opportunities for hiking, biking, running, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, water-skiing and boating. Fishing offers trout, catfish, big and small mouth bass or perch. Visitors can also see the Folsom Powerhouse (once called "the greatest operative electrical plant on the American continent"), which from 1885 to 1952 produced 11,000 volts of electricity for Sacramento residents. For cyclists, there is a 32-mile long bicycle path that connects Folsom Lake with many Sacramento County parks before reaching Old Sacramento. The park also includes Lake Natoma, downstream from Folsom Lake, which is popular for crew races, sailing, kayaking and other aquatic sports. Summers at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area are generally hot and dry. Dress lightly for high temperatures. Winters can be very cold with lengthy periods of central valley fog conditions. Dress in layers as the damp can bring on a penetrating chill. Spring and fall offer warm days and cooler evenings and nights. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.

Great trail! The first part of the trail is uphill and kind of rocky so hiking boots would be recommended although you could do it with tennis shoes. At first I was a little disappointed because I saw houses along the way but just keep going and eventually you will be in the wilderness with nothing but the sound of the river and the wind in the trees. The trail is well set and super easy to follow. Beautiful views. It’s not a difficult trail and a lot of it is pretty flat. I took my dog on leash. I only pulled one tic off her but she is on tic prevention. I only saw a couple other people the entire day Although I bet it gets much busier in the warmer season. I would definitely recommend! Beautiful hike on a sunny winter day!

What a great trail. Well engineered for hiking. Beautiful views.

Nice meander trail with a lot of options to get off the main path and enjoy the lake!

21 days ago

Came here with my family today and we had a great time! My kids loved it. The bridges were cute and I loved the little well/stream just before you enter the pond area. We had lunch at one of the picnic tables. We’d definitely do this hike again.

went in mid December and it was unseasonably warm. surprisingly good views of the river and salmon falls bridge. There’s a free parking area but then you have to cross the bridge to get to the trail. Dogs area allowed and bikers are respectful while using the trail

mountain biking
1 month ago

Awesome trails and beautiful views

Great hike for me and my dog. She was off leash most of the time. We came across people on horses so beware if your dog isn't familiar with them and lots of horse poop. There are no trash receptacles along the way so you have to hold on to your doggy poop bags until the end. There are two parking lots, one for the boat launch then up further is a regular lot. most people parked near the boat launch. Sunday afternoon was perfect. maybe 20 people. Averys pond is a mile hike to it then you can wrap around the pond and get a look at Folsom lake I believe. very pretty scenery and mostly shaded the whole way. There are also other routes you can take to have a longer hike. The trail starts near the boat launch then you have to vear right to Averys pond.
I did find a few ticks on my dog, so beware.

trail running
2 months ago

So pretty in the mornings. So much more trail to explore!

I went out yesterday, just to check this trail out. This trail follows the shoreline. Is there really 2,000+ feet of climbing? Also, if it's 28 miles, r.t., do they let you camp? Not too many hikers are going to do 28 miles in 1 day...

Maybe it's the time of year, I don't know, but I was bored from start to finish of this hike. I followed the main trail to the point and had to stop constantly for bikers. It was so boring and ugly I decided to walk back along the water on the return trip to the car. It was mostly that nasty slimy mud and sticks. I didn't enjoy it.

Easy hike for the family on a Saturday morning. Follow the directions on the App, easy access to the river from the pond, picnic tables are located around the pond if you want to take a break and relax.

Very calm walk with a choice of uphill challenges.

3 months ago

great ride, bikers can be more considerate

3 months ago

This was a really nice hike, perfect for a late start. There's a short distance uphill with ruts at the first part, but then it's mostly level the rest of the way. The pond is really pretty, and then you come to the river. We had our dog off leash and encountered a couple of horses, so if your dog is weird around them, best not to have them off leash. Our dog had a blast playing in the river. Saw lots of fish jumping too. Definitely a hike you can bring the kids on. If you want a challenging hike, this isn't the one, but it was perfect for the time we had available. Would go again. One warning - our dog had quite a few tiny burrs that were hard to find. Just be diligent in looking between their toes, etc.

If you wanna pay 12 bucks for parking because its a fancy area by El Dorado hills then this is great for you. If not go somewhere else.

The beginning of the trail is not very clearly marked. Parts of the trail seemed to diverge but again, no obvious markings or signs on where each leads to. I had to check on the AllTrails app once in a while with GPS to know that I was on the right path. Mostly shaded path though parts of the trail can be quite narrow. Access to Folsom Lake is possible if you look for forked paths around the pond. The pond itself, however, wasn’t much of a view in late summer when we visited. Our 5-yr-old had no trouble completing the trail. It was an easy hike for the older kids (7 & up).

This was a great tail, easy hike, with great views and places to stop and rest. With the detour to the powerhouse we hiked about two hours. The trail head was located at the boat ramp so we parked in the boat launch parking lot. Once at the trail, head to the top of the hill and to the right. We made our way to the backend of the pond, and took a new trail head (this was our detour to the Natomas Powerhouse). This trail continues behind the power house and around the other side of the lake. We went some ways around the other side of the lake, and got a great view of the powerhouse from the other side. From here to turned around and made our way back to the pond. We took the loop around the other side of the pond and saw a big turtle! We are beginners and I would recommend this trail for a fun, easy day, with lots to see.

I walked 3.4 miles of the lake line and enjoyed the tranquility. A cycling event had us watching over our shoulder for a portion of the hike but thoroughly enjoyed the park. Note $12 to get in the park.

Took this trail about 4.9 miles. Part was along lake and part forest. Took about 3 hrs with short break at marina where there is a full, clean restroom facility. Free parking on Green Valley Rd and Sophia parkway. Really a lovely trail. Will need to try the rest soon!

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