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.
Fishing — Folsom Lake waters hold trout, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, and kokanee salmon. A valid California fishing license is required. Lake Natoma’s accessible pier and fishing platform is at Nimbus Flat.
Boating — Launching facilities are located at several places around the lake. The marina at Brown’s Ravine also features boat slips, a towing service, a gas dock, and snack bar.
Peninsula Campground — A hundred family campsites — some accessible — accommodate trailers up to 18 feet and motor homes up to 24 feet. A sanitation station is provided. No site hookups are available. Accessible flush toilets, hot showers, and piped drinking water are available. Two launch ramps and a dayuse area are near this secluded campground at the end of the Peninsula between the north and south forks of the American River. Reach the area by boat or drive ten miles south from the town of Pilot Hill on Highway 49.
Beals Point Campground Just north of Folsom Dam, Beals Point has 49 family campsites and 20 RV hookup sites for trailers and motor homes up to 31 feet. A sanitation station, piped drinking water, and wheelchairaccessible restrooms with hot showers are available nearby
Negro Bar Group Campsites — On the north shore of Lake Natoma, three group campsites are available. Two can hold up to 50 people each and one can accommodate up to 25 people.
Reservations — Reserve campsites at all campgrounds by calling (800) 444-7275
Boat Camping — You may camp overnight aboard your self-contained sailboat or powerboat only in designated mooring areas. Obtain a map of the mooring areas when registering for boat camping at the Granite Bay entrance station or the marina at Brown’s Ravine. If no one is available when you arrive, contact park headquarters. Your boat must have self-contained sanitary and gray-water systems with sleeping accommodations for all aboard. You may camp ashore at the Peninsula Campground only in a designated campsite. Beach the bow of your boat and anchor off the stern. A secure tie-up is essential, as the wind may rise during the night. Boat camping is limited to two consecutive nights.
Picnicking — Family picnic sites are located at Willow Creek, Nimbus Flat, and Negro Bar on Lake Natoma, and at Beals Point, Brown’s Ravine, Granite Bay, the Peninsula area, and Folsom Point on Folsom Lake. Beals Point, Nimbus Flat, and Peninsula have accessible picnic tables, restrooms, and parking. All sites have barbecues; bring charcoal. The group picnic area at Granite Bay holds up to 200 people. Reserve by calling (916) 988-0205.
Horseback Riding — Horse trailers can unload and park at several equestrian staging areas. Granite Bay has hitching rails, a water trough, and chemical toilets. Other staging areas are located at Negro Bar, Rattlesnake Bar, Brown’s Ravine, Old Salmon Falls, Falcon Crest, and Sterling Pointe.
Trails — The park has 95 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists, runners, and horseback riders. The trail system includes the Pioneer Express Trail, which is part of the 50-mile Western States/ Pioneer Express National Recreation Trail. Oaks Nature Trail is accessible.
A paved, mostly accessible bicycle trail loops around Lake Natoma, linking to Beals Point and the American River Bike Trail.