The Trail

5 Outdoor Summertime Activities In Folsom CA

7/25/2022 | By Johnny Cash Trail| Folsom Activities, Folsom Events

Summer in Northern California is sizzling. And we’re not just talking about the temperatures! There are so many incredible things to do in Folsom, CA, during the warm weather months to keep you and your family active and engaged in the community.

Here are 5 outdoor activities to keep you busy all summer long.

Explore Folsom on Bike

Folsom is a paradise for cycling fans. From mountain biking around Folsom Lake to hitting the roads throughout the region, you’re guaranteed a scenic ride, exercise, and a good time when you go biking in Folsom.

Folsom's Bike Trails

Folsom is home to more than 50+ miles of Class I bike and pedestrian trails for biking and hiking, most located within easy access to neighborhoods, businesses and retail centers, including:

  • Humbug-Willow Creek Trail (HBWC). Folsom’s trails are mainly located in this section of the trail system located along the Humbug Creek and Willow Creek corridor.
  • Folsom Rail Trail along Folsom Boulevard.
  • Folsom Lake Trail with connections to the Johnny Cash Trail and the American River Trail.
  • Oak Parkway Trail between Blue Ravine Road and E. Natoma Street.

Find Folsom Trail maps here.

Since you'll be sharing Folsom's trails with pedestrians, remember to follow trail etiquette when cycling. Keep to the right side of the trail (the right side of the center line), maintain a safe speed, and pass on the left side of oncoming walking pedestrians. Move to the right after passing.

Enjoy a Nature Hike

Not into cycling? No problem! Folsom’s Class I trail network is available for all. So lace up your favorite walking shoes and head on out to enjoy the scenic beauty on a hike along any of Folsom’s Class I trails mentioned above.

Walkers and joggers enjoying the Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom, CA.

Hinkle Creek Trail Nature Hike

There's no better place to enjoy a nature hike than Hinkle Creek Trail. Hinkle Creek Nature Area is a thirty-six-acre lot with a stunning trail that coils around gorgeous trees, petite pastures, and Hinkle Creek. This picturesque nature area is wonderful for leisurely walks, trail running, and horseback riding.

This one-mile interpretive walk includes 50 markers along the way to help you learn more about the natural flora and fauna. As you enjoy the plants and animals on this nature hike, be aware of poison oak and the possibility of rattlesnakes and deer takes.

Explore the Hinkle Creek Trail Map and educational markers here.

Visit Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area offers miles of shoreline and waterside trails that attract 2 million boaters, bikers, hikers, equestrians, and families every year.

Enjoy scenic panoramas of open grasslands, rolling hills, the Sierra Nevada, Sacramento Valley, and the Bay Area’s Mount Diablo. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area features two reservoirs, Folsom and Natoma, and covers 19,500 acres.

Folsom Lake Activities

There are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy at Folsom Lake, including boating, camping, hiking, and other water-based fun.

Fishing: Folsom Lake waters hold trout, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, and kokanee salmon. A valid California fishing license is required.

Boating: Launch from several places around the lake. The marina at Brown’s Ravine features boat slips, a towing service, a gas dock, and a snack bar.

Water sports: Once on the water, enjoy a wide variety of water sports, from stand up paddle boarding (SUP) to kayaking, windsurfing, jet skiing, and more. Find rentals and concessions.

Camping: Camping at Folsom is a fun family activity! The Peninsula campground features 100 family campsites with access and hookups for trailers and RVs, flush toilets, and hot showers. Negro Bar group campsites are available for groups up to 25 - 50. Reserve campsites at all campgrounds by calling (800) 444-7275 or visiting

Horseback riding: Horse trailers can unload and park at several equestrian staging areas. Granite Bay has hitching rails, a water trough, and chemical toilets. Other staging areas are located at Negro Bar, Rattlesnake Bar, Brown’s Ravine, Old Salmon Falls, Falcon Crest, and Sterling Pointe.

Attend a Music Festival

From the minute Johnny Cash performed Folsom Prison Blues in front of an audience of inmates and guards for his Live at Folsom Prison album, music became an integral part of Folsom.

Johnny Cash performing for inmates at Folsom Prison.

Enjoy the sounds of country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and folk music during Folsom's Americana Fest this summer.

Starting in July, Folsom Americana Fest brings a wide variety of musical acts out for free and paid performances. Local musical acts will also compete in a Battle of the Bands!

See the full Folsom Americana Fest line-up here.

Immerse Yourself in History

Folsom has a rich history, from the Southern Maidu and Nisenan indigenous communities to the Gold Rush, a prison performance that put Folsom on the map, and much more. Immerse yourself in the history of Folsom this summer, whether it’s your first time visiting or you're a long-time resident.

Historic Sutter Street in Folsom, CA.

Folsom Historic District

Stroll down Sutter Street, where the roads are closed to traffic every Friday-Sunday on the 700 block between the Folsom Hotel and Snook's Chocolates in the Folsom Historic District. Shop, dine, and discover entertainment opportunities galore in this historic district.

Folsom Prison

Folsom Prison has a fascinating history as California’s second-oldest prison. The prison was opened in 1880 and was the first prison in the world to have electricity. In 1968, Folsom Prison became world-renowned when Johnny Cash played his live concert.

Johnny Cash stands outside Folsom Prison.

While the Folsom Prison museum is temporarily closed and the prison itself does not conduct public tours, you can still get a glimpse of this historic institution if you hike or bike along the Johnny Cash Trail. Discover 13 fascinating facts, stories, and tales about Folsom Prison.

Robbers Ravine Bridge

Another historic stop along the Johnny Cash Trail, the Robber's Ravine Bridge was built in 2017. The 190-foot-long wooden bridge spans a 50-foot ravine that gets its name after the outlaws who used the steep ravine as a hideout after robbing stagecoaches in the 1880s.

Watch the Robbers Ravine Bridge installation!

Summer Fun in Folsom, CA

There are endless opportunities to get out and exercise, dance, connect with nature, and enjoy the history of Folsom. So grab a bike, boat, or guidebook and go explore this amazing Northern California destination. Where will your next Folsom adventure take you?