Folsom – Gateway to Gold Country

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog with bridge in background in Gold Country

Yes, country legend Johnny Cash put Folsom on America's musical map—and soon there will be a 2.5-mile, Class I bike trail named in his honor. It will cross Folsom Prison property and connect to the miles of existing trails that help make this vibrant little city at the western gateway to California Gold Country such a recreational magnet for DogTrekkers.

A newly designed website,, lays out dozens of ways for visitors with canine companions to play, from exploring more than 56 miles of paved, multi-use trails perfect for dog walking, to following the American River shoreline along the 32-mile American River Bike Trail, a.k.a. Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, connecting Folsom and downtown Sacramento.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area boasts its own set of trails, along with kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals and miles of shoreline where Sparky can swim and fetch sticks to his heart’s content. If time is short and your pup needs to run off steam, take her to Fido Field (also known as Folsom Dog Park), unclip the leash and watch her go. This is a great place for dogs to socialize and play with each other. 

Folsom also makes a great launching pad for forays into El Dorado County wine country and the Apple Hill region, where scores of farms, farms stands and wineries welcome four-legged guests. (Tip: book a Sweetheart or Sip ‘n’ Stay package at a dog-friendly Folsom hotel to receive a complimentary bottle of El Dorado County wine and get the inside scoop on a dog-friendly wine-tasting adventure.)

Folsom now boasts four dog-friendly places to stay, (Larkspur Landing, Residence Inn by Marriott, Staybridge Suites and Lake Natoma Inn), all within a short drive from the vibrant Old Town Folsom historic district. This bustling area of trendy restaurants, taprooms and nightspots is great for an anytime stroll with your four-legged friend, and it's also the setting for events ranging from farmers markets to festivals and car shows, many of which you're welcome to attend with Fido as your date.

Don’t worry about finding a place to hang out and watch the world go by as you stroll down Sutter Street through the heart of the action. In warm weather, the two of you can cozy up at a sidewalk table and sample local fare at restaurants including Pizzeria Classico, The Fat Rabbit (a British-style pub), Sutter Street Grill, Marley and Moo and Karen's Bakery and Cafe, the latter of which is a regionally known culinary landmark with a large, dog-friendly patio and direct access to a river-hugging bike-and-hike trail.

Photo courtesy: @visit_folsom


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