Thursday, October 6, 2016

Folsom Lake SRA Folsom, California

Great news! Doctor released me May 15th allowing us to head out as soon as possible. We left Arizona on May 25th with the house selling the day before we left. Life is good again! We arrived in NorCal on May 30th and headed to Folsom Lake on June 1st. After settling in, we were contacted by the rangers to accept our assignments. If you've never work camped, it can be a rewarding experience. This is our second time work camping and it's important to know what is expected on both sides prior to your commitment, otherwise neither party will be satisfied with the assignment. In exchange for our camping spot, we were expected to work at least 15 hours/week, with our choice of hours and days. Our assignments included collection of fees, cleaning of sites and providing direction for campers. No bathroom or heavy duty assignment. In the evening, we were expected to sell firewood when necessary.

Folsom Lake SRA surrounds Folsom Lake. It has two distinct campgrounds, Beal's Point and Peninsula. Beal's Point is close to shopping etc. and has 19 FHU sites and 47 non hookup. It can accommodate any size rig. Peninsula is remote and has no hookups although water and a dump station are available. Facilities are 45 minutes away. 

Our site was extra large. You can see our coach amongst the trees. We did have excellent DirecTV service. The small building in the picture is the firewood shack. To the left of that is our screen room. We were also provided a motorized GEM electric cart to get around the campground.

Folsom Lake is located about 40 minutes east of Sacramento. It contains over 11,500 acres of water with 75 miles of shoreline.  The largest and most natural part of the park is the Peninsula area which encompasses some 1,485 acres. It is located on the east shore of the lake near Pilot Hill, California.

These pictures show the west side of the lake which is more civilized. Here you can find riding and bicycle trails, (32 miles to downtown Sacramento if you're so inclined), picnic areas, a snack bar and boat/canoe/kayak rentals.  There is something for every taste around this lake.

The lake itself was formed by the construction of Folsom Dam in 1955. Until the events of 9/11, you could drive across the dam. That road is now closed but a bypass has been constructed. The lake is fed by the American River  which then merges further downstream with the Sacramento river eventually flowing out to sea under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

There are many areas with access to the lake each with it's own distinct flavor to cater to almost anyone. Granite Bay, (day use/launch ramp) Beal's Point, (campground/swim beach) Negro Bar, (group camping) Brown's Ravine, (marina) Peninsula (campground) and Nimbus Flats, (day use). Folsom Lake SRA is the most visited park in the State Park system.

Beautiful sunsets are a given at any location around the lake.


The lake supports a large number of recreational activities including personal watercraft, fishing, sailing, wakeboarding, swimming, paddling, kayaking and nature appreciation. Aquatic activities account for almost 85% of all recreational visits to the lake. There are almost 100 miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails within the park boundaries.  The Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail traverses the park at Beal's Point. This paved off road trail links all the way to Old Town Sacramento and the train museum.


As a reservoir, the water levels in the lake fluctuate between 440 feet in the early summer and 405 feet in the early winter. Hidden beneath it's water is a gold rush city known as Mormon Island. In 2013 during an extended period of drought in the area much of this 'city' reappeared 58 years after being submerged under Folsom Lake, with stone walls from some of the outlying areas being revealed by the shrinking lake.

Up next are pictures of some of the wildlife found within the campground.


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