Fun Things to Do in Folsom

Folsom is a city in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is commonly known for Folsom Prison, the song "Folsom Prison Blues" and Folsom Lake. The population was 72,203 at the 2010 census.
Johnny Cash Trail. A part of the three-acre Johnny Cash Legacy Park, Johnny Cash Trail is a pedestrian and bike trail that winds through Folsom Prison and Folsom Lake Trail. They combine to honor the legendary Johnny Cash, his music, and his history with the city of Folsom. The ultimate art experience has several installations that pay homage to one of America’s most inspirational musical figures. The eight artworks and displays includes two seven-foot-tall bronze monument guitar picks, laser cut steel poles portraying a silhouette of Cash playing the guitar, and a Greystone Chapel that has excerpts of letters sent to Cash by inmates who attended his concert in 1968.

Harris Center. Built in 2011, the Harris Center for the Arts offers a great place for a night out! Three stages offers year-round productions, concerts, and other events. This award winning facility is part of the Folsom Lake Colleges’ Performing Arts Program and not only offers nighttime entertainment for locals, it is a facility to instruct, develop, and guide talented students to become actors, musicians, dancers, visual artists, and behind-the-curtain technicians.

Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary. The Folsom City Zoo is a sanctuary facility where many Norther CA animals that have been rescued and rehabilitated now call home.Operating since 1963, the zoo has been the home to hundreds of animals from squirrels and deer to tigers and bears. the zoo is the perfect attraction for families with close to 100 animals and adjacent to Lions Park (featuring tables, BBQ’s and children’s play areas) and the Folsom Valley (mini-scale) Railway, not to mention City Hall, Dan Russell Arena, and the Folsom City Library.

Lake Natoma. Lake Natoma is the smaller of Folsom’s two lakes. With a 5mph speed limit, Lake Natoma is more popular for activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and swimming. It is a popular spot for college level rowing competitions and is home to Sacramento State University’s Aquatic Center where crew tournaments are often held. Picnic and BBQ spots are also located along Lake Natoma at spots such as Negro Bar and Willow Creek access points.

Folsom Prison Museum. The National Big House Prison Museum, popularly known as the Folsom Prison Museum, was founded in 1975 as a means of chronicling the prison’s colorful history and is run by retired prison guards, who will tell you all about life in the prison. You’ll be able to explore and learn about the architecture of the prison and how it was structured with gray granite from the surrounding rock quarries. There’s an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia which have unique stories behind them; some of these include old hemp ropes which were used to hang prisoners, several weapons created by inmates, various items from Johnny Cash’s famed concert show, and even an eight-foot-high motorized Ferris wheels which a prisoner made in the 1930s using over 250,000 toothpicks. Sitting on one of the last remaining undeveloped landscapes of the Gold Rush region, Folsom Prison holds a unique place both in the history of the West and popular music.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Managed by the California Department of Parks & Recreation, the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is a popular outdoor oasis that can be found on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The park spans nearly 20,000 acres and was established in 1956 after the creation of Folsom Dam. You can spend your time at the park hiking, picnicking, biking, horseback riding, water skiing, boating, or camping. There are 95 miles of trails in the park, including a paved bicycle trail which loops around Lake Natoma. The waters have an abundance of yellow perch, bass, trout, and catfish, making it a wonderful location for fishing as well.

Gekkeikan Sake. Producing sake is a Japanese tradition that goes back over 2,000 years ago when rice cultivation was first introduced. Jiemon Okura founded Gekkeikan Sake in 1637, establishing his own sake brewery in Fushimi, a town well known for its refreshing water source. It has, over the years. gained extreme popularity all over the world and eventually the trademark alcoholic beverage opened a second brewery in Folsom, California to meet the increase in demand. You can go on a tour of the state-of-the-art brewery, complete with Japanese garden and a beautiful koi pond. Afterwards, head to the Tasting Room to have a couple of drinks, try some unique snacks, and purchase unique gifts such as sake sets, Japanese dolls, sushi-making accessories, and much more.

Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park. The hydroelectric powerhouse delivered power to from Folsom to Sacramento from 1895 to 1952. The water feed canal and impoundment, both of which sit on the American River, were built by convict labor provided in a deal between landowners and Senator H. G. Livermore. The prisoners produced all of the granite blocks used to build the dam, the foundation of what would become the powerhouse, and the retaining wall for penstocks.

Folsom Historical Museum. The Folsom Historical Museum, which is operated by the Folsom Historical Society, can be found in the area’s historic downtown location. Within it, visitors will be able to see a collection of treasures and artifacts which preserve and chronicle the settlement and development of the city of Folsom. The fascination exhibits focus on several aspects and events from its past and highlights the Gold Rush era. Many of the exhibits display Folsom’s native people, the discovery of gold, the formation of mining camps, and the many contributions of ethnic groups to this area. Several events are held at the museum throughout the year such as Antique Evaluation Day, 100 Years of Fashion Accessories, and more.

Beal’s Point. Beal’s Point, which can be found beside Folsom Lake’s sandy beach area, Granite Bay, is a lovely place to spend the day outdoors and take in the surrounding views. There are large grassy and shaded areas which can accommodation family picnics and several other activities; amenities such as barbecue pits are available there. A popular pastime is bicycling in the 32-mile long American River trail which starts at Beal’s Point and follows the scenic river to Old Sacramento. Beal’s Point is also one of only two locations on the lake which allow for overnight camping and is popular with campers during the summer months.

Folsom Aquatic Center. Open to residents and visitors of Folsom during the area’s warmer months, the Folsom Aquatic Center is where everyone goes to cool down and beat the heat. The center is safe and fun for visitors of all ages and includes a water playground for little ones, as well as water slides, diving boards, a lap pool, and much more. The activity pool is fitted with play structures such as water cannons, water sprayers, and tumble buckets that you’ll love getting doused under. Visitors of all ages climb three stories again and again to slide down the thrilling 165-foot spiral water slider which ends with a splash in the pool. Afterwards, you can rest up in the shaded grassy lawns and designated picnic areas that surround the pool and feel at ease as professional, licensed lifeguards watch over everything.

Folsom Dam. Folsom Dam was built in 1955 as a multipurpose project executed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. The dam is 340-feet tall and comprises a concrete center which is flanked by long earthen wing dams which extend to high ground on both ends. The dam is a beautiful sight to see, but also plays an important role in Folsom as it is controlled for irrigation and domestic use, electrical power generation, preservation of the American River fishery, and it prevents potential flooding from torrential rains, winter storms, and spring snow runoff. Visitors will also be able to see Folsom Lake, which was created by the dam, and further down, Nimbus Dam and the water it holds in Lake Natoma.

Granite Bay Beach. Enjoy the beauty of Folsom Lake at the area’s most popular outdoor recreational area, Granite Bay Beach. Locals and visitors in Folsom flock to the beach for a day of sunbathing, swimming, rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and playing volleyball. In addition to boat ramps, other amenities offered at Granite Bay Beach include a buoyed swimming area, barbecue pits, large grassy areas perfect for picnicking, and shaded spaces that are great for fun outdoor activities like playing frisbee. The Granite Bay snack bar is perfect for those who want a meal and a drink; they also rent various beach equipment for you to use while there.

Red Bus Brewing Company. Folsom’s only craft brewery, the Red Bus Brewing Company was established by Erik Schmid, beer expert, longtime Folsom resident, and also owner of The Brewmeister, one of Sacramento’s longest operating wineries/ breweries. You can visit and tour the 7-barrel production brewery or have a drink in their lovely tasting room which is themed around a 1968 Volkswagen bus, hence the name. Visitors will be able to try a wide variety of beers which comprises modern and creative ales and brews alongside more traditional styles. Their open-book policy allows curious visitors to access the full recipes of all their brews and learn about the beer production process too.

Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad. Head to Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad for a scenic train ride in California’s Gold Country. The preserved railroad was an important aspect of the state’s rich history and can be found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You’ll be able to enjoy one of their many motorcar rides and scenic trail excursions, which are made available to the public all year long. The rides take you through a fifteen-mile track between Folsom and Latrobe, allowing you to see all the natural beauty of the surrounding area. There are several events held on the train throughout the year such as their Easter Egg Express, Mother’s Day Brunch, and their Hot August Night ride.

Carpenter Hill. Found on the foothills of the Sacramento Valley - Sierra Nevada, Carpenter Hill is a summit that is open all year long. It is popular with visitors who love to go hiking and exploring in Folsom’s naturally beautiful outdoors. It’s a great climb due to its easy access, climb, and accessible location, and the view from the top of the famed Sacramento Valley is one of the best you will see in the area. There’s not much wildlife for you to come across during your hike, but there have been sightings of snakes; mosquitos thrive in the area so be sure to bring your bug spray along. Folsom Pro Rodeo. Folsom Pro Rodeo has been a community tradition for nearly 60 years. The patriotic event kicks off on Fourth of July weekend and is a wonderful place to meet the area’s residents and have a memorably good time. You’ll get to see and experience so much with their non-stop rodeo action, two-step dancing, and mutton busting. There’s an outstanding display of fireworks nightly as well as a high American glad that arrives via a skydiver. You’ll be able to witness the skills of the rodeo’s Flying Cowboys, the Painted Ladies Drill Team, Rodeo Clown Matt Merritt, and Folsom Diesel Works Saloon Under the Stars.

List Created by Sacramento Top 10


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