Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
American River Bike Trail Partial Closure Update – October 2018
California State Parks understands the public’s concern regarding the timeline of the repairs at Lake Natoma and assure you we are doing everything we can to expedite this process. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of delays.
In 2017, State Parks sought to contract with another state agency to utilize their expertise with rock fall mitigation work. Unfortunately, they were be unable to dedicate the resources necessary to provide these services. In spring 2018, we contracted with a geotechnical firm to provide the necessary assessment and rock fall mitigation report needed to move forward with the CEQA process. However, in October 2017 two bald eagles returned and began their nesting process near the impacted area (first nest occurred in 2016). As bald eagles are a federally protected species, the geotechnical firm was unable to complete its assessment until the eagles vacated the area, which occurred in late July 2018.
In August 2018, the geotechnical firm submitted its draft report to State Parks for review and comment. We expect to receive the firm’s final report this fall.
Upon receipt of the final report, State Parks will promptly begin the CEQA process. The area also holds significance to a local Native American tribe, which requires additional tribal consultations. State Parks anticipates CEQA will take three to four months to complete. Once CEQA is completed, we will be able to provide additional details regarding the extent of needed repairs, and also provide a more accurate timeline for project completion and trail accessibility. The Bureau of Reclamation will be responsible for completing NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).
Please note: as the eagles have returned to nest this year, there could be additional project delays as repair work that could impact the eagles cannot be conducted while they are present. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to restore this trail for everyone’s enjoyment.
Located at the base of the Sierra foothills, 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.
Folsom Lake SRA Boat Ramp Status As Of 2/13/19
Folsom Lake SRA Closed Boat Launch Areas
Granite Bay Stage 1: CLOSED
Granite Bay Stage 3: CLOSED
Granite Bay Stage 4: CLOSED
Peninsula North: CLOSED
Peninsula South: CLOSED
Rattlesnake Bar: CLOSED
Negro Bar: CLOSED
Folsom Lake SRA Open Boat Launch Areas
Granite Bay Stage 2: OPEN
Folsom Point: OPEN
Browns Ravine: OPEN
Nimbus Flat: OPEN
Willow Creek: OPEN
Regular day use hours apply to all areas except the following:
b. Overnight moorings for registered boat campers
c. Folsom Lake Marina at Brown's Ravine
Lake Natoma is primarily managed for non-motorized and slow-speed aquatic recreation such as rowing, paddling, etc. There is a 5-mph speed limit enforced on the entire lake.
The following units are closed to vehicles until further notice:
For any and all questions and the most current information, please contact the park at (916) 988-0205
Camping is available at Beals Point year-round and at Peninsula Campground beginning April 1, through the summer (Peninsula Campground closes October 1). Additional information about Camping can be found here or by calling (800) 444-7275.
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is located in the Sierra-Nevada foothills about 25 miles east of Sacramento, can be reached via either Highway 50 or I-80. Both Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma have many access points and entrances. The administrative offices are located at the base of Folsom Dam at the corner.
The park has multiple entrances most of which are fairly easily accessed by either Interstate 80 to Douglas Blvd.(east), or Highway 50 to Hazel Ave., or Folsom Blvd., (north).
Directions to the Peninsula campground:
80 east Reno
From Hwy 80 take the Elm St. exit out of the city of Auburn, at the 1st light make a left, at your very next light you will make another left that is High St. High St turns into Hwy 49 you will travel on Hwy 49 for 10 miles towards the city of Cool. You will enter a small town called Pilot Hill from that small town you will turn right on Rattlesnake Bar Rd. that road will dead end into the campground in 9 miles.
Hwy 50 S.Lake Tahoe
From Hwy 50 you will take the El Dorado Hills Blvd. exit go north on El Dorado hills for about 10 miles (at some point the road changes names to Salmon Falls Rd.) you will enter the small town of Pilot Hill you will make a left on Rattlesnake Bar Rd. which dead ends onto the campground in 9 miles.
Directions to the Beals Point campground:
80 east Reno
From Hwy 80 you will take the Douglas Blvd. exit out of the city of Roseville. Go east on Douglas for about 6 miles make a right on Auburn-Folsom Rd. go about 2½ miles until you come to a stop light the sign will say Beals Point and you make a left.
Hwy 50 SLAKE Tahoe
Take the Folsom Blvd. exit go north on Folsom for about 7 miles (the road will change names to Folsom- Auburn) you will come to a stop light, the sign will say Beals Point and you make a right.
Transportation to the Park
A variety of transportation methods are available to park visitors at Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma. With its urban setting and the accessibility of the parks entrances, local bus services can be used reach Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma. Private vehicles as well as bicycles, horseback, and foot travel are the most frequently used methods of park entry.
The primary recreation season coincides with the spring and summer months when temperatures are in the 80s, 90s and 100s.
Visitation is highest from April through September. In the spring months when school is still in session, evenings and weekends are the times of highest lake activity.
Climate, Recommended Clothing
Summers at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area are generally hot and dry. Dress lightly for high temperatures but be careful of over exposure to the sun.
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. Dress in layers.
Good walking shoes are a must when exploring any of the park trails. Shoes or sandals are recommended on the lake's beaches and boat ramp areas.
Granite Bay Group Picnic Sites
Granite Bay Main Beach at Folsom Lake SRA offer two reservable group picnic sites with easy access to the lake and the Granite Bay Main Beach parking area. The group picnic sites are available year round during normal park hours. The group picnic areas can accommodate 100 people both sites include 11 picnic tables, 1 large BBQ station, flush toilets adjacent to site and 2 water faucets. All park day use fees apply. Reservations can be made 90 days in advance at our Folsom Sector Office at 7755 Folsom-Auburn Rd Folsom, CA 95630.