The Shimmering Waters of Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake is the site of many special events that include fishing tournaments, rowing competitions, running races, and sailboat regattas, among other activities that take place throughout the year.
Kayak fishing on Folsom Lake is a special treat for even the most experienced angler. The cool, clean waters are home to rainbow and brown trout, black bass, catfish, salmon, bullhead, crayfish, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, large and smallmouth bass. The Northern Fork arm has an abundance of secluded areas offering many good spots for kayak angling. The Southern Fork arm is a hot spot for hooking bass, but unfortunately, numerous bass anglers fish this spot every day, and the fish have become a little cautious.
There’s pretty good bass action throughout the year, especially in the winter and spring when there isn’t as much watercraft traffic. The lake’s record for largemouth bass is a little over fifteen pounds. Be sure to bring your rod and paddle out onto the waters to enjoy perfect blue skies, gentle breezes, and the excitement of hooking a trophy size bass.
Folsom Lake Recreation Area has three public campgrounds. Camping is available at Beals Point year-round, and at Peninsula Campground from April 1st through October 1st. If you plan to camp here on a weekend or on a holiday, it is strongly advised to make your camping reservations well in advance due to the seasonal volume of park visitors. Be prepared for a crowded picnic and camping area.
If you're planning to camp at Folsom Lake, you need to make reservations, since they do not accept walk-ins. Once you have reserved a campground, they are first-come, first-served, so you may want to arrive early on Friday to get the best campsite.
The ideal time of year to paddle Folsom Lake is during the early spring and fall when the crowds are lighter, the temperatures are milder and the hillsides are green. The summer daytime high air temperatures are in the 80s, 90s and 100s. It is usually very dry as well.
Kayaking is allowed year-round, seven days a week. The boat speed limit is 5 m.p.h. after sunset. The four launch access locations allow you to paddle this lake by sections at a time. The lake’s water level varies from month to month, depending on the amount of rainfall in the wintertime. Usually by October, the water level is too low for powerboats, which makes it an ideal time for kayakers, who can hand launch.
Folsom Lake Recreational Area also includes Lake Natoma, the forebay to Folsom Lake. Kayakers who enjoy Folsom Lake might not be aware of the smaller but more picturesque Lake Natoma, located just a short distance from the Folsom Lake Dam.
Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the shores of Folsom Lake, but with all the space that its 11,000 surface acres provides, you can feel like you've found your own private slice of paradise. There are four boat launches, a full service marina, and superb photographic opportunities for the avid kayak photographer.
Swimming and sunbathing along Folsom Lake’s 75 miles of shoreline can be wonderfully relaxing. The lake’s abundance of secluded coves make it irresistible when it comes to exploring. Wake boarding, SUP paddle boarding, wind surfing and water skiing are other popular pastimes.
Folsom Lake is full of outdoor activities for every age, taste, and preference. With fishing, boating, and watersports along with the spectacular scenery surrounding the lake, there is something to please any outdoor enthusiast.
Whether you want to kayak or sit in front of a campfire, soak in the sun or kayak fish, you'll know that you've found a truly beautiful and tranquil vacation spot. Folsom Lake has everything you want. You could spend a lifetime here and never run out of enjoyable things to do for the entire family. After a day paddling Folsom Lake, slow your pace to enjoy sapphire skies, emerald green scenery, and the sun setting on the horizon. Escape from the city for a while to take pleasure in the refreshing waters of Folsom Lake