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Sweetwater Trail

MODERATE 177 reviews

Sweetwater Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near El Dorado Hills, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 282 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

lake

river

views

wild flowers

fee

This is a nice moderate hiking trail with some short up and downs and one small creek. Parking fee: $10.00 cash box as of July 2019 There are a few rocks in the path but nothing difficult. Bikers use this trail as well. The hike comes out on Salmon falls road, about a mile south of the American River bridge. There is a small parking area there, so you can start on the end opposite the bridge if you would like. Also, if you cross Sweetwater creek at the end of the trail, and then forge your way across the lake bed (that is usually dry in the summer) you will find a paved parking area. It is probably only 1/4 mile from the end of Sweetwater. This is another Folsom Lake recreation area, but is much less known and used than the one at the bridge. At one end of the parking lot is a hiking only trail. Watch out for Poison Oak!

hiking
2 months ago

Saw two separate bald eagles, it was beautiful. Watch out for mountain bikers. A few of them almost took us out on the narrow trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This is my running trail and I love it! So close to me and the view changes on the time of year and how high the water is. Just be extremely careful of the poison oak in the spring. It is bad...there are also a lot of ticks here. You can also see the old bridge when it gets super low.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice shady hike with access to the reservoir. Adequate parking, and easy to get to.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

It's a simple hike. I would hardly call it moderate in any way. Not much to see except the lake that you walk around. Single file trail. It's not much overgrown now because a lot has dried up in the summer heat. It has in and out shade/sun areas so be prepared for the hot areas in summer. We calculated at about 7 miles round trip with two side trail stops. A very disappointing end to the trail though-nothing but a gate that leads to the road. Take the trails to the right that's about in the middle and right before the end to at least relax and enjoy the waterfront. There are boats and one of them was playing loud music but it was only for a minute. Didn't encounter any bugs or ticks but I always use bug spray anywhere I go that has brush. Parking is currently $10.00. There were lots of sail boats when we came back so if you're into that, might be a good place too. Only ran into one bicyclist with a kid.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
5 months ago

this is a great trail for beginners who are serious about getting into hiking. its also good for those who have not been in a long time.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful, but overgrown and ticks everywhere!!!!

hiking
6 months ago

One of my favorites in the area in the summer because it’s shaded. But it’s a little overgrown right now. Be careful about poison oak and check for ticks. Enjoy!!

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

Nice trail, however we encountered a lot of ticks.

hiking
6 months ago

Good warm up trail for summer. Parking on the south side is limited, paid parking on the north side

hiking
7 months ago

Very nice trail. Still lots of flowers. Boats are very noisy and play really bad music...

hiking
7 months ago

Look out for ticks. I had to pick around 30 ticks of my dog...I’m not exaggerating.

hiking
7 months ago

trail was good. saw a rattlesnake on the trail, so beware. hiked in the evening, a lot of bugs. bring bug spray. overall great hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice mix of sun and shade. Lake view.

hiking
8 months ago

Trail was a bit narrow but it was beautiful and you have a view of the water almost the entire time. Very clean, dog-friendly trail. It was the end of March and everything was very green! Will definitely hike again.

hiking
9 months ago

A nice, fairly easy, well marked trail. We went when it was raining on and off, so there were a few muddy spots, but definitely manageable. It would be great for trail running!

hiking
11 months ago

Getting to this hike was very easy. There is plenty of paved parking. There is a $10 parking fee that is self service so make sure you bring exact change. This was a beautiful hike. I went on Christmas Day and there was no one else out on the trail. I came across one bicyclist that crossed my path and then went down a different trail. There were a lot of birds out. The weather was perfect. The trail is a bit narrow but it's easy to follow and very pretty. The hike totaled 5.5 miles. I recommend checking it out. I will definitely be going out there again.

running
11 months ago

Beautiful in December, some good technical trail running sections and killer views. Definitely not for folks who aren’t at least in reasonable shape. Restrooms are clean but those pit toilets freak me out. Definitely working this into the rotation!

Mon Aug 27 2018

did this trail a couple of months ago great starter trail. good views of the lake, some mountain bikers but they were very accommodating in sharing the trail. i will do this one again.

hiking
Sun Jul 08 2018

Way too narrow, over grown bushes, thorns, no foot traffic, only saw 2 bikers, lots of ticks & saw a huge RATTLE SNAKE that scared us away about 2 miles in. Not coming back.

hiking
Wed Jul 04 2018

Parking and access: Plenty of parking (because it's $10). If you are a frequent visitor to the park or Cal State parks I suggest buying an annual pass for $120. i bought in April It's already payed for itself by July . If you live in the Folsom area its nice to be able to just drive up to the lake and go for an evening stroll with the dog. Trail: Speaking of dogs, and echoing the other reviewers, this and other trails surrounding Folsom lake are prime tick country. This is a narrower trail with thicker brush, and though I didn't see any bikers when I went, having to dodge them while standing in the brush with your dog is inviting trouble. Overall: Nice views of the lake and variety of plant life as you meander along the shore with only short small elevation changes.

Sat Jun 30 2018

Really pretty in the Spring/early summer. Go earlier to avoid the few patches of sun. a very pretty trail. my partner and I did it and are at different levels. you could make it point to point it out and back. I did some trail running on the way back. CHECK FOR TICKS THOUGH!

hiking
Mon Jun 04 2018

I do NOT recommend this hike. Trail is narrow and overgrown, we had brush hitting our legs through the entire trail, and it's only wide enough for 1 person. lots of stickers and spider webs due to the narrow trail. on the positive side, very green, well shaded, and follows the lake perimeter so pretty views.

hiking
Mon Apr 02 2018

this trail is beautiful! It is moderate, only because there are some sections that get pretty rocky. Most of the trail is very walk-able though. Highly recommend! the only reason I am giving this 4/5 stars is because of the payment method. Its $10 for the day (which I don't mind but some might) but its a self-pay box, so make sure to bring exactly $10 in cash

hiking
Mon Mar 19 2018

Great trail. Narrow, but I managed with 2 dogs.

Sat Feb 24 2018

This trail is way too narrow to share. I tried to do it with my dog and there was no way to avoid the bat-out-of-hell mountain bikers that were wizzing by. I had to literally stand in the brush to let bikers pass because there was no where else to go. I walked a mile in and then turned back around and left.

Sat Feb 17 2018

very pretty but super narrow trail and TICKS. checked my dog a mile in and she had a dozen crawling on her front legs. we won't be back.

Wed Feb 07 2018

Great morning hike! Nice scenery. Plan to do again soon.

hiking
Mon Feb 05 2018

What a cool hike. About two miles in, there is a trail down to the river/ lake. (Not sure what it is considered up there) Would be great to break off and swim in warmer weather or let your hound play in the water. The mountain bikers we encountered were very laid back.

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