nature trips

dogs on leash

trail running

kid friendly

wild flowers


mountain biking


horseback riding



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.

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.

1 day 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.

11 days ago

Not much artwork was up when we did this trail. Great for bicycles but on the boring side for hikers. I think once the new trees that they planted grow taller - and when more artwork is added then it could be a better hiking experience.

Looking to do it again in five years - but not going back before then.

Path is paved and level. However, much of this walk is too close to the streets with many cars driving by, so it was loud and not peaceful. Not a repeat for us.

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.

16 days ago

I am not quite sure where the trailhead, but I followed a path to the left of the boat launch and followed the river as far as I could.

Beautiful meadow with lots of butterflies. Rocky here and there. Spiders but only if you went into the brush.

Trail was not marked and hard to follow, but there were many different paths and it wasn't hard to find my way back.

$12 to park, Restroom near the boat launch. Perhaps the ranger had a better map.

Nice spring hike for the butterflies and soft light. Well shaded but mosquitoes near the water and parts that were sunny. I'd probably come back here to get in the water. The trail wasn't amazing, but perfect for a light nature hike away from Sacramento.

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

22 days ago

Love the 6.3 miles of this, but glad we started out along the main roads first. Very hard to talk with the cars going by, but the lake and dam are neat to see. Last legs of the hike are much prettier. As always, bikers are not very courteous and act like us walkers/hikers are invading their private trails. Ignore them. Glad we had a camelback with us for water, but this hike isn’t too difficult, just a little longer (which I loved!). No Art installed yet, but looking forward to that in the future.

easy, relatively flat hike along the edge of Folsom lake. Beautiful views of the lake. Best time is in the morning while the sun is still east. There are A few beaches along the trail where you can stop and relax and take a swim too.

26 days ago

Great hike with kids! We started from the boat ramp area - there’s a paved sidewalk headed into the woods which leads to a clearer path at the top of the ramp. A little confusing but makes sense once you get started.

We saw turkey, fish, ducks, lizards, lots of butterflies and turtles - a great and easy place for young and beginning hikers.

28 days ago

Very easy for the family. We went on a Tuesday during spring break so families were on the trail with a bunch of kids. Perfect for dogs as well. Great spots to hang out and read or just chill. We went after a week of rain so it was very green and a little muddy. When you see “horse assembly” drive up that gravel hill and there is parking right next to the trail head. There isn’t very many signs so it can get a bit confusing.

on Johnny Cash Trail

1 month ago

So first of all... this art trail isn’t complete just yet, so if you want to check out the fully paved trail and see some of the finished installations then check it out but I will be returning once it’s fully done! ALSO very important to note that the location All Trails sends you to is actually the Folsom city hall building/ parking lot. The actual entrance to the trail is by the Dan Russel Rodeo Arena, where you can easily park. This trail is a loop so there are various other locations where you could begin the trail but there is plenty of parking if you just google map it to the rodeo arena instead. This is a 6.3 mile trail that is VERY bike, stroller friendly and pet friendly. The loop does go around Folsom prison for part of it ... but again if you’re a Johnny Cash fan you’ll understand why that is and why that’s actually pretty cool! Overall a pretty cool trail and we can’t wait for it to finally be finished because it’s pretty darn cool to see them commemorate Johnny cash how they’ve done so far and to see everything else they’re planning on installing!

on Folsom Trail

1 month ago

Great afternoon walk. We went on a Friday afternoon and while we did see a good number of people biking/ running/ walking, it was by no means busy or crowded.

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.

mountain biking
1 month 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.

The best trail for a short and fun weekend walking/hiking

Great hiking trail for families and kids. Exposed to the West so sunny in the winter. Great views over the lake, Avery’s pond is peaceful and calm. Access to the lake is easy. Beaches are nice and there are lots of wildlife (geese, ducks, crane, red head woodpeckers, deers). Will definitely do it again.

Liked this hike. Did it with Travis. Skinny trail and lots of bikers but relatively flat and good views of the lake. In the sun.

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

Awesome hike and beautiful lots of bikers but very friendly

Nice trail. The camp ground is Closed for the season right now. Several connector trails which is nice. You can customize the distance easily.

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.

2 months ago

Lovely trail for a lovely day.

was a fun walk with my friends. but it was difficult finding the trails and there weren't any posted trail maps along the way.

2 months ago

Beautiful Trail but can be a bit sketchy. Sharing the trail with bikes is difficult when you have dogs with you.

Easy to Moderate bike / walking trail . Hit Sutter street for a burger and beer after .

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