Folsom is a cycling mecca, with 95 miles of scenic trails that invite cyclists to explore waterways, lakes, and scenic vistas. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned rider; ride mountain bikes or road bikes, Folsom has a reason for you to get out and ride. Actually, it has at least 10 of them.
10 remarkable reasons why Folsom is a cyclist’s dream destination
#1: Nature, Nature, and More Nature
When you’re biking along one of Folsom’s many miles of trails, you may have a hard time keeping your eyes on the road. Everywhere you look are scenic panoramas of rolling hills, open grasslands, distant Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, lakes, and rivers. Oaks, pines, and grasses dot the landscape, and blooming wildflowers paint a vivid scene every spring.
You may even come across local fauna, such as the black-tailed deer, raccoons, gray foxes, beavers, river otters, egrets, geese, quail, Red-tailed hawks, and eagles that call the region home.
#2: A Safe Place to Ride
Folsom bike trails aren’t just scenic, they are also one of the safest places you can ride. Folsom began planning its bike trails in 1988, and has designed a trail system that takes riders from one side of the city to the other with practically no intersection of high-traffic streets. Folsom bike trails provide safe passage under or over busy streets, like the Johnny Cash Trail which transports cyclists and pedestrians across the Johnny Cash Overpass bridge high above Folsom Lake Crossing Road before it darts around Folsom Prison grounds.
#3: A Greener Commute
Folsom’s trails don’t just take cyclists on a breathtaking nature ride around the city, they also provide an eco-friendly transportation option for commuters who work in Sacramento. Cyclists can ride from Folsom along the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, known to locals as the American River Bike Trail, all the way to Discovery Park in Old Sacramento; a 32-mile ride.
olsom provides another alternative commute option for cyclists with a secured bike facility in the Leidesdorff parking garage adjacent to the light rail station. Bikes are also allowed on the light rail trains, giving cyclists multiple options to leave their cars at home and include a bike ride into their daily commute.
#4: The City of Folsom Takes Cyclists Seriously
In case you haven’t noticed, the city is focused on meeting the needs of the cycling community in Folsom. A planned golf course was recently scrapped in order to free up more land for additional trail mileage, and the city has 30 + miles of additional trails in the works.
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#5: Folsom Draws Cycling Pros from Around the World
Folsom’s dedication to cyclists and it’s bike trails hasn’t gone unnoticed. The AMGEN Tour of California includes Folsom as one of its prestigious locations. The Tour-de-france style road race takes professional riders through some of California’s premier places to ride, such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, South Lake Tahoe, and of course, Folsom.
#6: Get Ready to be Challenged
There is almost no limit to the challenge you can give yourself if you want to ride along one of Folsom’s many bike trails. For brand new riders, the nearly 3-mile stretch of Johnny Cash Trail may be a good place to start. But for more advanced riders, Folsom trails offer every opportunity to push yourself further, or faster, than ever before. Many cyclists come to Folsom and head out to El Dorado Hills, Cool, or Auburn. And Carpenter Hill, aka “Costco Hill,” offers a steep-graded challenge for many cyclists to conquer.
#7: A Trail for Everyone, On or Off the Road
Many of Folsom’s bike trails are paved multi-use trails that road cyclists enjoy. The road bike journey known as “Around the Lake” takes cyclists on a 50-mile circle with three tough climbs, two descents, and a fast straight shot to the finish… complete with scenic lake views.
But road cyclists aren't’ the only ones who love to ride in Folsom; it’s also a go-to destination for serious off-road riders, too.
The Folsom Lake to Granite Bay Connector is a popular mountain bike ride, starting at Folsom Bike along the paved American River Bike Trail. Cyclists can find a singletrack trail at Beal Point and take a winding singletrack course with a few short climbs and one challenging climb up to the water tower, ending with a steep descent down to the Granite Bay trail.
#8: The Bike Clubs
If you’ve seen a crowd of cyclists speed by in a blur wearing red, white, and black spandex, you’ve most likely been buzzed by a group from Cycle Folsom. The Cycle Folsom bike club has more than 1,000 members, ranging in skill level from beginners to pro. The fast-growing club offers education and camaraderie, and welcomes everyone at every skill level.
Bodacious Biking Babes is another bike club you may see on the trails in Folsom, a women’s only club whose goal is “fun, fitness, and philanthropy.” Riding with a group encourages a sense of community and encourages riders to push themselves to be better at their sport.
#9: The History
Just like the City of Folsom itself, Folsom’s bike trails have a wonderful history. In 1896, one hundred years before the city began working on the current trail system, a gravel trail along the Sacramento River was set upon by hundreds of cycling aficionados. Riders competed in races, the fastest getting to Folsom from Sacramento in just under an hour. When you bike in Folsom, you’re joining a hundred years of cycling history.
#10: Cycling in Folsom Makes You Happier (and Smarter!)
Research has proven that exercise has amazing benefits for your brain; it reduces stress, makes you happier, prevents depression, and even improves memory and thinking skills. And research on cycling has shown that it helps people score higher on tests of memory, reasoning, and planning. In other words, hopping on your bike and going for a ride in Folsom will make you smarter and happier.
How’d we do? Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite reasons to get out the bike and hit the trails in Folsom!