hiking

walking

views

nature trips

birding

dogs on leash

trail running

kid friendly

wild flowers

wildlife

lake

mountain biking

horseback riding

river

fishing

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.

Went on Fathers Day, Sunday 6/17/18, arrived at about 9:45 and left at about noon. Me, my wife, an infant in a chest carrier and a toddler in a backpack carrier. It’s a busy “trailhead”, basically a boat ramp for the north part of Folsom Lake. But what a hike! Minimal elevation change, plenty of tree cover, not too much foot traffic. The pond is fine....there’s a nice quarter-mile loop around it. I recommend a right turn at the entry to the pond, which will lead you to a wide gravelly lakefront beach. We had a picnic, watched the boats, and threw rocks into the lake. Great day. Seemed like foot traffic was increasing significantly as we hiked out in the late morning.

hiking
2 days ago

Good hike, but i would late the second half as moderate. especially in 88 degree weather. Strongly recommend this as an early morning hike and bring plenty of water. trail was rocky, so a good pair of hiking boots or trail running shoes are recommend. $10 Parking was limited, and we lucky to get the last spot.

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!

hiking
3 days ago

As a newer biker..this trail is flow and easy enough to gain confidence..also has a few spots along the trail that are challenging but not too intense. My favorite trail thus far

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
15 days ago

Great hike! Perfect for beginners and also perfect for doggies! My dog loved it. She saw a lot of lizards, ducks and turtles. We also saw an otter swimming around. Easy to find, easy parking, and beautiful views. Highly recommend this hike!

I loved it.. the water at the bridge is so beautiful..

hiking
19 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!

hiking
19 days ago

Totally an enjoyable hike. Took our youngest grandson (12 years of age) and he found it fun and a very easy walk. We saw a river otter in the pond swimming and a dozen turtles sun bathing on logs. Met horses along the trail and enjoyed an abundance of wildflowers. Good fir family hiking - almost anyone can make this short hike without any great efforts.

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!

6.38 miles..easy trail. lovely view of river and flowers. circles Folsom Prison. halfway point across the Folsom Crossing is not too pleasant, but the rest is good.

hiking
24 days ago

We picked this one because it’s one of the only trails I could find that allows for dogs to be off leash. A good walk- one day we’ll do the whole thing. $10 cash to park. Rocky and harder than easy in the beginning - meaning your parents may not be able to do it. Definitely coming again with friends and dogs.

love this trail! it is very nicely done and it is stroller friendly.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful. Many wildflowers and lots of greenery and lovely oak groves. The path starts out wide and then narrows. Be cautious for ticks and poison oak - the grasses are tall and it'd be hard to keep a dog away from them. There is some easy creek crossing over rocks and lots of shade up until you get to the south side (after the gate).

After the gate the trail changes dramatically. At the gate I went right towards skunk hollow which had a couple of nice views. Next time I go early I'll try going left towards Cronan Ranch (it was too hot by noon to be out in the full sun).

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 :)!

walking
1 month ago

Wife and I went for a little hike to take some photographs. Nice little area with a lot of different flowers and butterflies. Good numbers of hikers, runners, and bikers, but everyone was very pleasant and the bikers were always very polite about giving us a heads up.

Not too scenic but has trees and nice shading throughout.

trail running
1 month ago

Lots of hills and great scenery. Loved it! Cant wait for the artwork.

Bring sunscreen. Very sunny hike with not much shade at the beginning. My family and I walked for about a mile and half. Relatively easy. Fairly rocky. The view of the American river turning into the lake was quite pretty. The path is narrow, not wide enough for people to walk side by side. But we enjoyed our time overall!

mountain biking
1 month ago

very rocky. otherwise perfect

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.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail isn't finished yet, so the all trails map is inaccurate. The all trails map is showing two trails connected, the Jedediah Smith trail and Johnny Cash trail. It added another mile and a half to our hike. Not sure if they going to eventually combine the two. The actual Johnny Cash Trail starts in downtown folsom and goes out to folsom dam and back, which is only 3 miles. All in all it was a beautiful walk minus the biker riders.

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

Load More