Lake Natoma

Lake Natoma

This lake, part of Folsom State Recreation Area, is the site of many rowing, sailing, sculling and outrigger canoe regattas in summer. Kayaking is extremely popular here. Dogs are allowed a picnic areas but not on or near swimming beaches. However, there are many other spots where your pup can take a dip.

Recreation at Lake Natoma is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation under agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation. The Lake was created by Nimbus Dam across the American River.

Lake Natoma is a regulating reservoir for releases from Folsom Lake. Usually open 7 days per week, summer hours (April 1-October 15) are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Winter hours (October 16 – March 30) are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Facilities include one group campground, 11 miles of paved bicycle trails, 6 miles of multi-use trails and excellent year-round bank or boat fishing. Two launch ramps provide continuous boat launching access year-round, in addition to one car-top boat launch area.

Lake Natoma is an excellent facility for non-motorized boat recreation. Motorized boating is also allowed and there is a 5 mph speed limit on the entire lake. Good fishing for both cold and warm water species including rainbow trout, brown trout, black bass, crappie and bluegill.

The lake is about 15 miles east of Sacramento close to Highway 50. Exit Hazel Blvd to park at Sac State Aquatic Center, or park for free at the fish hatchery across Hazel, where you can also pick up an extensive system of bike/hike trails.

For the Negro Bar recreation area, take the Folsom Road exit off of 50, cross the river and turn left onto Greenback; the park is on the left.  After the bridge over the river, turn left onto Greenback. From Interstate 80, take Greenback south almost to Folsom and turn right into the park. 

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