Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
11 hours ago

This could be a great trail (mostly for running or cycling), but there were several issues for me that led to my poor review. There are some really nice sections and the path along the east side of the lake was pretty nice. However, the west side was not nearly as nice. The trail is not marked well and there didn't appear to be many bathrooms and only one functional drinking fountain throughout the entire loop (a couple others were not working or destroyed). Additionally, there is a section on the west side that is closed and appears to have been like this for quite some time based on the level of debris and a path warn into the dirt from numerous people bypassing the barriers, There was no signage as to there being a closure until you are right up on it. The trail could also use some maintenance and it seems as if sections get ignored and are overgrown with weeds and have numerous cracks. I think if this trail had better signage and was regularly maintained, it would be much nicer. Until then, I would stick primarily to the east side of the lake where the better trail exists.

I've been riding my horse/s on these beautiful trails since 1987. Back then there weren't a lot of hikers, bikers, etc. in fact we hardly ever ran into anyone that wasn't on a horse but that has changed. We should all want to continue to enjoy the trails together and to do that it's a good idea to know a little about what we encounter on the trail whether on horseback or on foot. Now as a horse woman I know horses but I understand a lot of folks don't. I'm not saying a person has to know everything about horses to share the trails but to know a little can help. The number one issue I've been seeing in posts is about the "horse poop." Well horses poop, can't help it but there are benefits to this: horse poop is organic, its a fertilizer for all the beautiful flowers we enjoy, it dries up pretty quick and if you want you can kick it out of your way, it doesn't smell as bad as dog poop or won't stick to your boots too long (dries up pretty fast); all in all horse poop is actually good for the environment. Now, the other issue is dogs and horses. Most horses are used to dogs, they live on ranches, dogs live on ranches; problems usually occur when a dog that is unfamiliar with horses is off leash; this might also be the reason some riders have been "not very courteous." The dog might be intimidated or he might charge up behind a horse barking and will probably spook the horse (they are a prey animal after all); now the horse may kick out at the dog, spook causing potential injury to the rider, or not do a thing, you (the hiker) never know which. The safest approach if you encounter horses is to leash your dog until you pass, remember a horse's aim is good and if he decides to kick a dog it could be fatal and no one wants to see that happen. Another fact about horses: 99% of the horses you'll encounter don't kick people, it's just not in their nature to do so, just because their butt is facing you doesn't mean they're going to kick; if you're unsure or scared just ask the riders if they kick (in reference to a review that stated the horses were "tied up blocking the trail"). The third issue I see is the suggestion to use the "Horse Staging Areas" to park. Equestrians bring horses which require us to haul them in trailers costing us more in day use fees. The "Horse Staging Areas" are small to begin with but when non trailer hauling vehicles also use the "Horse Staging Area" it leaves us with no place to park other than the asphalt boat launch area. The "Horse Staging Areas" are built with a horse's comfort in mind, that's why all have gravel and most are shaded; while our trucks have air horse trailers don't. Just remember horses are animals and just like dogs they love their people, so the next time you encounter horses on a hike maybe you'll ask if you can pet one (on the neck not the face), you might really like it. So this ends my lengthy tutorial on Horses 101, until the next time Happy Trails to All!

I've been riding my horse/s on these beautiful trails since 1987. Back then there weren't a lot of hikers, bikers, etc. in fact we hardly ever ran into anyone that wasn't on a horse but that has changed. We should all want to continue to enjoy the trails together and to do that it's a good idea to know a little about what we encounter on the trail whether on horseback or on foot. Now as a horse woman I know horses but I understand a lot of folks don't. I'm not saying a person has to know everything about horses to share the trails but to know a little can help. The number one issue I've been seeing in posts is about the "horse poop." Well horses poop, can't help it but there are benefits to this: horse poop is organic, its a fertilizer for all the beautiful flowers we enjoy, it dries up pretty quick & if you want you can kick it out of your way, it doesn't smell as bad as dog poop or won't stick to your boots too long (dries up pretty fast); all in all horse poop is actually good for the environment. Now, the other issue is dogs & horses. Most horses are used to dogs, they live on ranches, dogs live on ranches; problems usually occur when a dog that is unfamiliar with horses is off leash; this might also be the reason some riders have been "not very courteous." The dog might be intimidated or he might charge up behind a horse barking and will probably spook the horse (they are a prey animal after all); now the horse may kick out at the dog, spook causing potential injury to the rider, or not do a thing, you (the hiker) never know which. The safest approach if you encounter horses leash your dog until you pass, remember a horse's aim is good & if he decides to kick a dog it could be fatal & no one wants to see that happen. Another fact about horses: 99% of the horses you'll encounter don't kick people, it's just not in their nature to do so, just because their butt is facing you doesn't mean they're going to kick; if you're unsure or scared just ask the riders if they kick (in reference to a review that stated the horses were "tied up blocking the trail"). The third issue I see is the suggestion to use the "Horse Staging Areas" to park. Equestrians bring horses which require us to haul them in trailers costing us more in day use fees. The "Horse Staging Areas" are small to begin with but when non trailer hauling vehicles also use the "Horse Staging Area" it leaves us with no place other than the asphalt boat launch area. The "Horse Staging Areas" are built with a horse's comfort in mind, that's why all have gravel & most are shaded; while our trucks have air horse trailers don't. Just remember horses are animals & just like dogs they love their people, so the next time you encounter horses on a hike maybe you'll ask if you can pet one (on the neck not the face), you might really like it. So this ends my lengthy tutorial on Horses 101, until the next time Happy Trails to All!

Love this spot quite and easy to access the lake!

It was ok- there are a lot of rocks on this trail which are hard on the knees, and you only see the river view for a very small portion of it. The scenery is pretty boring otherwise. It’s a lot of up and down, which is a good workout, but I don’t think I would do this trail again. Also, the directions from this app took me to a different trail (Sweetwater). I found this trail by chance when I was heading up to Auburn and remembered the name. If going here, I wouldn’t rely on the app’s directions for it.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful views of the river as you get to the other end of the loop! I did get off the trail at one point & was walking by houses for a few minutes when I realized, the trail was just below though so not hard to find!

We did a small stretch from Rattlesnake Bar to north for ~ 2 miles. First we started from Beals point - and that portion is boring for hike and just flat land. But from Rattlesnake Bar - it is somewhat better. I think it is rated moderate only because of its length - if you do it all. It has good scenery- but it also has horses, which at times make it difficult to walk pass by.

If you click the directions from AllTrails for the trail head - it takes you to a private road location - so don’t do that. Either start from Rattlesnake Bar Entrance or by the Douglas Blvd (Granite Bay entrance) - depending on how long hike you want to do.

Very easy trail except the steep start at the boat ramp entrance. The kids loved seeing the passing horses and the lake views. We would go again!

This is a favorite trail of mine. I don’t even think it is moderately busy. I rarely encounter anyone. It does have a cougar alert posting. That keeps me from going alone most of the time. I have only seen one cougar in my life up close and this was the region.

The pond is lovely ... the river is flowing... it is a lovely out and back. There are also several little side trails to venture off and explore.

Easy trail for kids (ours are 9,6,5) Fun trail, good lake views. Lower trail is under water or otherwise washed out so don’t take it unless you want to have to turn around 3/4 mi. in, or bushwhack back up to the upper trail, which we did.

I love hiking this trail! we always see lots of mountain bikers who are the most polite trail companions. I think this trail has lots of hills and it's Rocky, but I like it, never boring.

We exited on Horseshoe Ridge and continued down until the road ended and the trail began.

It was a really pleasant partial shade/partial sun lake walk and foliage walk through the hills.

We saw plenty of Miner's Lettuce and Turkey Tail on our walk more inland. Definitely a gradient scale with elevation.

I can't wait to come back :)!

Nice and easy trail to pond. And easy access to the lake. Check your dogs for ticks, my dogs were covered with them yet they never left the trail. Poison Oak is pretty rampant as well.

It was an okay hike. I wouldn't consider it moderate. Probably wouldn't do it again.

The most obvious entry to the trail at the boat ramp parking is steep, washed out, and is hard to use. Another entry prior to boat ramp parking, at the horse staging area, will bypass the washout. Trail after that is mostly level and an easy, shady hike with picnic tables and wildflowers. Families and horses share. Horsemen were courteous when we stepped aside. Dogs primarily not on leash tho they were friendly. Pleasant hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Its one of my favorite hikes especially the views when you make it to the top.

So, two parts to this. Great, absolutely AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL Hike for seasoned hikers and fit persons. Not a hike for children, and your dog WILL get covered in ticks. A wonderful part of God’s Creation, but not for the faint of heart or light of feet.
It’s 14 miles round trip, and I had a 7, 14, and 16 year old with me. Oh, and this was their fist hike. Please know, you’ve been warned.

Beautiful hike on springtime, great shade along the way, my 11 years old boy went the whole way, my 8 years old daughter stopped with mom half way to enjoy the water and take some flowers photos.

Didn’t make it the whole 13.3 miles but made it 5.5 miles to the creek crossing the trail. It just rained so it was moving pretty good and I didn’t want to get my feet wet so turned around there for a total round trip of 11 miles. Lots of different terrain and views along the way. It was well worth it.

You need to pay 12$ per parking. Regular trail. Nothing special.

Scenic easy hike, well shaded with bits of wildlife here and there. Will be back.

The pros: There is free parking at the Sterling Point Equestrian Staging Area, however the gate closes at 7pm. I saw at least 2 picnic areas with tables along the trail.

The cons: the trail is steep going down from the parking area. It is also very narrow, so not suitable for running. Also, it’s a horse trail so there is lots of horse poop to watch out for as you walk. The trail is confusing at multiple points where it splits. Also it’s confusing because it is not marked on google maps like the state park trail. I didn’t hike the whole trial, once I was near the bottom, I cut across to the state park trail and the beach area. Coming back was confusing since I had to walk through brush to get back on the horse trail.

on Lake Natoma Trail

mountain biking
3 months ago

Really great trail! Lots of bikers when I was out. There was a closure that stopped me from doing the full loop but other than that this was a really nice trail.

This is a long hike but it is very beautiful. Lots of black oak trees through the rolling hills.

So pretty lots of bikers and horses but still good trail to hike

Overall not a horrible trail, highly traveled, stick to the upper part of the trail because the lower part has been washed out. Very dog friendly, the only thing I would recommend is watch out for the ticks. Pretty scenery, the only real negative thing that I could say is the people on horseback or not very courteous, And like to tie their horses up blocking the trail, not that that would be a problem, but most of them were turning towards us to kick because we had a dog. Something just to be aware of.

Beautiful out today, like Spring in Febuary! & only a few people out. Climb up was a butt kicker like always. Fun Downhills make it worth the effort.

trail running
4 months ago

There is a nice trail by the water. You can run by the water. Be sure to bring sunglasses or a hat.

We had a great time here! There are lots of opportunities to hike shore-side, when the water levels permit, and beat your own path - the trail is great too! Well shaded for a good portion along the trail but not many places to pull off and relax if you’re looking for a lot of open, private picnic space. There were tons of horses along this trail when we went so something to be aware of if you have dogs that spook or are personally not comfortable. Overall, it was a great way to spend a couples hours over the weekend!

Only tricky part, almost forgot, is parking. If you enter in from the residential side, you won’t be able to park too close to the trail, but you can park in the neighbor about 2-3 streets from the gate though. Be mindful of the parking restrictions because the neighbors said they do ticket and tow.

Beautiful trail.. perfect weather! Great views.. Watch out for poison oak.

Load More