Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake, a popular reservoir nestled in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, offers stunning scenery and a variety of recreational activities. Here’s a breakdown of some key features:

Location and Size:

  • Situated on the American River, Folsom Lake straddles Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento Counties, approximately 25 miles northeast of Sacramento.
  • With a surface area of approximately 17.89 square miles (46.3 square kilometers) and a shoreline stretching over 75 miles (121 kilometers), it’s a sizable reservoir.

History and Purpose:

  • Constructed in 1955 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Folsom Dam created the reservoir as part of the Central Valley Project.
  • The project’s original purpose was to control flooding, generate hydroelectric power, and provide irrigation water for California’s Central Valley.
  • Today, Folsom Lake also serves as a vital source of drinking water for the Sacramento region.


  • Boating: The vast surface area and calm waters make Folsom Lake ideal for various boating activities. Enjoy pontoon cruises, jet skiing adventures, peaceful kayaking excursions, or rent a boat and explore hidden coves.
  • Fishing:¬†Anglers flock to the lake for its diverse fish population, including largemouth and spotted bass, rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and catfish [6]. Be sure to check for fishing regulations and obtain any necessary licenses before casting your line.
  • Swimming: Designated swimming areas provide opportunities to cool off on a hot summer day.
  • Watersports: Enjoy water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing on the open waters.
  • Hiking and Biking: Over 60 miles of trails wind through the surrounding hills, offering scenic hikes and challenging mountain bike rides for all skill levels.
  • Horseback Riding: Explore the area on horseback with several equestrian trails available.
  • Camping: Several campgrounds surrounding the lake provide opportunities for overnight stays under the stars.

Additional Information:

  • Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, surrounding the lake, is one of the most visited parks in the California park system.
  • The historic Folsom Powerhouse, once dubbed “the greatest operative electrical plant on the American continent,” is a captivating landmark to explore near the dam.
  • The area offers a rich cultural heritage, with sites and museums depicting the region’s Gold Rush history.

Things to Consider:

  • Depending on the activity, permits or fees might be required. Check with park authorities beforehand.
  • Weather conditions can change rapidly. Be prepared for various weather patterns and dress accordingly.
  • During peak season, especially summer weekends, the lake and surrounding areas can get crowded.

Folsom Lake offers a perfect blend of outdoor recreation, stunning scenery, and historical significance. It’s a fantastic destination for families, couples, and anyone seeking adventure or a relaxing escape in nature.

Folsom Lake
Article Name
Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo