Lake Natoma

Lake Natoma

1901 Hazel Ave.
Gold River, California
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Local Phone: (916) 988-0205

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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Meats exploring the Johnny Cash Trail - Photo Credit: @finnifsk8
Meats exploring the Johnny Cash Trail - Photo Credit: @finnifsk8
History, a vibrant dining scene and outdoor recreation options galore beckon in this gateway to California Gold Country. Folsom’s nucleus is its handsomely revitalized Old Town district, centered on Sutter Street and great for an anytime stroll or sit-down with your four-legged friend. more »
Lucas at American River Parkway - Photo Credit: @_lucas.sacul_
Lucas at American River Parkway - Photo Credit: @_lucas.sacul_
Highway 50 buzzes right through Rancho Cordova between Sacramento and Folsom, so unless you pull off to explore, you won’t know what you’re missing. Start, perhaps with an overnight stay at a dog-friendly hotel and get a complimentary Sierra Foothills Wine Tasting Passport good for two people at eight regional wineries that welcome dogs. more »
Historic Folsom: Gateway to the Gold Country
Visitors know Folsom for the song made famous by the Man in Black, but no one sings the blues once they get to this historic little city at the western gateway to California Gold Country. Folsom makes a great launching pad for forays into El Dorado County wine country and the Apple Hill region, where many dog-friendly adventures await. But it also has much to offer DogTrekkers in its own right—including a new, 2.5-mile trail and sculpture park named for Johnny Cash.

The Johnny Cash Trail connects to an extensive network of paved paths shared by cyclists, joggers and dog-walkers, while just outside town, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which includes the separate Lake Natoma, have their own sets of pathways along with miles of shoreline where Sparky can swim and fetch sticks to his heart’s content. And that’s not to mention the American River Bike Trail hugging the river of the same name for 32 miles, all the way to downtown Sacramento. more »
Lifeguard on duty, Lake Natoma. Photo Credit: @lifesensibly
Lifeguard on duty, Lake Natoma. Photo Credit: @lifesensibly
Summertime and the livin’ is easy…as long as you’re on a lake. Heading up to Gold Country, you’ll find lots of places to dip your paws no matter which road you take. Here are some of our favorite splash spots in the Sierra foothills. more »
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