The Trail

Six Wild Reasons to Visit the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary

8/18/2016 | By Johnny Cash Trail| Johnny Cash Trail

The Folsom Zoo is one of the many things that makes our Northern California city unique. It’s a go-to favorite for families living in and around the city who come to see the animals, ride the train, and make memories. There’s no doubt about it; Folsom is just wild about its zoo.

Peacock at Folsom Zoo

Here are six reasons to bring your family out to the zoo in Folsom.

#1: The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary Saves Animals

The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is a unique haven for animals, and is unlike many “traditional” zoos. The animals that call the zoo home were brought here because they needed rescue and care.

Folsom Zoo Sanctuary was first formed in 1963 with a single bear cub that had been orphaned and injured in a forest fire. “Smokey” was soon joined by other animals needing rescue. As more animals needing care and a safe home were brought in, the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary grew.

The animals that call the zoo home are not bred, sold, or traded. The zoo provides for animals who have been confiscated as illegal, who proved to be too wild, or who were injured and unable to return to the wild. At the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary, they have found a safe haven and forever home.

Today the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is home to a variety of animals, from exotic tigers and monkeys, to those native to Northern California, such as bears, mountain lions, red foxes, coyotes, and wolves. 

Animals of Folsom Zoo

Seeing the animals that call the zoo home is just the start of your day of family fun. Because the zoo shares a location with some of Folsom’s other notable family-friendly activities, too.

#2: Ride the Rails: Kids Love the Train at the Folsom Zoo

In addition to the animals who call the zoo home, the Zoo is also home to the Folsom Valley Railway

. The Railway operates a miniature, replica steam engine on a 4/5 mile track that takes on an open car round trip lasting approximately 10 minutes. For many local families, a day of fun starts with one question:

“Who wants to go to the zoo and ride the train?”

#3: Lion’s Park is Perfect for a Picnic or Playtime

The Zoo and Railway are located at Folsom City Lion’s Park. Lion’s Park has two playground areas, one wheelchair accessible play area ideal for younger kids, and a larger playground area that is more challenging for older kids. Plenty of green grass and a covered picnic area with ample tables and seating are perfect for lunch and playtime in the park.

Speaking of lunchtime...

#4: No Need to Pack a Lunch; Stop by Fisher’s Beastro

Fisher’s Beastro, named after a beloved Black Bear who called the Zoo home for years, offers snacks, beverages, and lunch items in case your little cubs start growling for lunch. The Bistro is located in the park itself, right outside of the Zoo entrance. The Bistro makes it easy to have a day at the zoo and surrounding amenities, even if you forget to pack a lunch.


Black Line

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Black Line

#5: Learn More About Your Favorite Animals at the Folsom Library

The Folsom Library is a popular after-zoo attraction. Summer reading programs and regular storytime draw kids of all ages to the library all summer long. Pop in with your little ones and check out a book featuring their favorite zoo animal!

#6: Walk the Line - Easy Access to the Johnny Cash Trail

Lastly, if you want to enjoy some of Folsom’s history and scenic beauty, the Johnny Cash Trail is located right behind the Folsom Zoo. You can access the trail from Lion’s Park, and walk as much of the 3-mile long trail as you’d like. The multi-use, paved trail takes cyclists, runners, and walkers on the outskirts of Folsom Prison property and offers scenic views as it takes you toward Folsom Lake.

Johnny Cash Trail

When you visit the Zoo Sanctuary, you can make it a full-day of family fun, complete with train rides, food, play time at the park, a visit to the library, and even a scenic walk along the Johnny Cash Trail.

We hope to see you at the zoo!

The Folsom Zoo, Lion’s Park, Folsom Valley Railway, Folsom Library, and an entrance to the Johnny Cash Trail are all located at Stafford Street and Natoma Street. Enter 403 Stafford Street, Folsom, CA 95630 into your GPS. Onsite parking is free.


Good luck, and we hope to see you at the Folsom Zoo!



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