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Folsom Biking Trails

17 Apr 2020 - 722 words - 3 minute read - RSS

Due to the coronavirus lockdown ruining all my spring 2020 travel plans, I’ve been biking a lot and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery in Folsom.

In this post I will share my thoughts on some of the major biking trails in Folsom; I hope to regularly update this with info on more walking/biking trails in the future. Credit for the trail maps goes to Friends of Folsom Parkways.

Major Trails #

Lake Natoma Trail #

This trail follows the eastern shore of Lake Natoma, starting from Historic Folsom in the north and continuing past Nimbus Dam in the southwest - it’s possible to bike to Downtown Sacramento along this trail. The trail is mostly flat (though there’s a bit of a climb approaching Rainbow Bridge from the southwest) and offers many scenic views of the lake.

The banks are taller and steeper in some sections, which offers good views but makes it hard to reach the water. There is water access at Nimbus Dam, at a point slightly north of Iron Point Rd, and near Rainbow Bridge.

Crossings at Hazel Ave or Rainbow Bridge connect to the American River Parkway Trail. Johnny Cash Trail starts in Historic Folsom and continues north to Folsom Lake Crossing.

Willow Creek Trail #

One of the paved east-west trails in Folsom, this trail intersects with the Lake Natoma trail in the west and follows the same path as the Humbug Creek Trail for most of the middle section. It ends in the southeastern part of Folsom and connects with various neighborhood trails in Empire Ranch.

The trail passes through several wetland areas with many small bridges where it crosses Willow Creek. It offers many opportunity to see birds and other animals. The majority of the western part of the trail runs parallel to an old railroad, and the topography is flat. In the eastern part of the trail, the elevation sharply increases until it ends somewhere near Vista Del Lago high school.

Humbug Creek Trail #

Compared with Willow Creek trail, this trail doesn’t go as far west, and ends in the northeastern part of Folsom (going in roughly the same direction as Blue Ravine Rd into the Briggs Ranch area).

I prefer this trail over Willow Creek Trail; the scenery is slightly more interesting and the vegetation is lusher, but there aren’t as many opportunities to step to the water’s edge because the banks are steeper. The entire trail is flat, and animals are abundant, especially near ponds.

The middle section has several possible paths, but they all go in roughly the same direction. The northernmost out of those paths will take you to a large pond near Folsom Middle School. The eastern end of the trail stops at Econome Park, but continuing north on a dirt path, past the hill and across Green Valley Road will take you to Folsom Lake.

Oak Parkway Trail #

Another east-west trail, it connects with the Johnny Cash Trail in the west (just past city hall) and ends at Briggs Ranch in the east, near Econome Park. It passes through BT Collins park at the midpoint. This trail is pretty hilly, and there are some barren areas without vegetation.

Overall, I don’t think the ride is as pleasant as the other east-west trails in Folsom, although at the western end it connects with the well-maintained and very popular Johnny Cash trail.

American River Parkway Trail #

Also called Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail by Google Maps, this trail follows the western shore of Lake Natoma, opposite from the Lake Natoma Trail. I’ve only been on the section north of Nimbus Dam, but it continues much further southwest. The trail continues north to Beals Point. Compared to the Lake Natoma trail, this trail has more sections that are close to the shoreline. This trail is mostly flat, but elevation does increase significantly from Rainbow Bridge to Beals Point.

Crossings at Hazel Ave in the south and Rainbow Bridge in the north connect with Lake Natoma Trail, and Folsom Lake Crossing (also in the north) connects to the Johnny Cash Trail.

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