What's Up?

Welcome. We are Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma (FOLFAN) - a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that supports the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (SRA). The SRA (park) includes Lake Natoma, Folsom Lake, and the American River that connects the two lakes. The park includes approximately 100 miles of trails, 100 miles of shoreline, and a picturesque oak woodland setting. Our mission is "Enhancing education and recreation opportunities for the public and protecting the wonders and resources of Lakes Folsom and Natoma."   View our most recent FOLFAN newsletters for the latest news about us and our park and selected events and activities.
[May/June 2020]
[April 2020]
[March 2020]
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FOLFAN Events & Activities

All group events and activities have been CANCELLED due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the need for social distancing. We plan to reschedule our Wild Night event at the earliest possible opportunity. Meanwhile, stay safe!


Trail News 

Closed trail REOPENED as of Feb 15, 2020
The popular Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, near Negro Bar and below the Orangevale Bluffs, is officially reopened as of February 15, 2020!  What most of us call the "bike trail" on Lake Natoma's North side was closed three years ago due to landslides. But the necessary repairs have now been made and there is now 60' of brand new paved trail. View the State Parks Press Release on the Reopening of the trail.

Trail repairs scheduled; trail to be closed March 3-4
Trail repairs to the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail between Hazel Avenue and Nimbus Dam on the north side of the American River have been scheduled. The trail will be closed March 3-4 to allow for the repairs to be completed. The first day will be prep work, cutting and removing the asphalt and preparing the surface for new asphalt. The second day will be paving and striping.

Reclamation completing Folsom Dam safety work with trail detours as a result
The Bureau of Reclamation is completing construction improvements as part of its Safety of Dams program at Folsom Reservoir’s Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam and Dikes 1, 4, 5 and 6 in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. The construction work will result in the temporary closure of the trail across the top of Dikes 4, 5 and 6 between Beal’s Point and Granite Bay through July 2019. Signs and maps will be posted at each end of the closure identifying the detour route. For more information about the improvements, visit: https://usbr.gov/mp/sod/projects/folsom/


Our New Brochures 

Have you seen our new brochures? We've been working on an a new set throughout 2018 and they are finally here! They include:

  1. FOLFAN - up-to-date brochure with concise info about who we are, what we do, and how people can join us or support us.  View here
  2. Every Day is Earth Day - this next-generation brochure is filled with helpful tips and "easy to do everyday" things that will make a positive difference in protecting and preserving our beautiful planet.  View here
  3. Adopt-the-Parkway - this long-awaited brochure explains the program and its opportunities for both Financial Sponsors and Volunteer Stewards.  View here

Let us know if you would like some printed copies of any (or all) of our brochures to distribute to your family, friends, neighbors or work colleagues. We are especially interested in getting our Adopt-the-Parkway brochure in the hands of prospective Financial Sponsors!

Thanks to the Bodacious Biking Babes and River Ridge Realty for donations to help pay for brochure development and printing. Also thanks to Mary Casey for her excellent design services, and to our many FOLFAN members who allowed us to use their beautiful photos!


Bald Eagles 

By now, most FOLFAN members and fans are aware that we have a number of Bald Eagles living in our park during nesting season (October through July). They are magnificent creatures!

Did you know there are 60 species of Eagles worldwide? Except for Alaska, the two that we see in North America are Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles. They are part of a group of 
predatory birds called Raptors, or Birds of Prey. The group also includes Kites, Hawks, Falcons, Buzzards, Vultures and Owls.

FOLFAN would like to thank all those who volunteered to be nest monitors at the Bald Eagle nesting site at Lake Natoma. On busy days, we would try to have volunteers present to answer questions from park visitors, to direct visitors to the official viewing area (about 100 yards south of the nest tree), and to use our scopes set up to get great close-up views. Although the trail that passes by the nest tree remains open to visitors, signage asks them to not disturb the nesting eagles per the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act which prohibits anyone from harming or disturbing eagles or their nest areas. With the help of our volunteers, we are able to protect the nest area so that the entire site doesn't have to be closed to the public and an enjoyable educational experience can be had by all.

If you would like to learn more about Bald Eagles (our National Bird), please refer to our 2-page information sheet.


Cyanobacteria Danger 

In recent weeks, two separate incidents of possible cyanobacteria poisoning in dogs have been reported. One at Moony Ridge in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. The other at Oregon Bar in the Auburn State Recreation Area. The incident at Oregon Bar resulted in the death of a dog, although the actual cause of death has not been confirmed. Sampling by Water Resources Control Board staff on August 23 confirmed the presence of cyanobacterial mats growing on rocks in a side channel of the American River at Oregon Bar. Caution signs have been posted in these areas and additional signage has been posted throughout the parks to increase public awareness of the potential risks. All park users are encouraged to read this State Parks press release to understand the risks and to minimize any potential danger: https://www.parks.ca.gov/NewsRelease/907 


Trail Etiquette

By Jim Cassio, FOLFAN President

Trail safety has recently become more important to me than it used to be. Part of the reason is personal; knowing how easily someone can be hurt when trail users do not use good etiquette on the trail.

You may have heard about a civil court jury that recently decided how to assign responsibility for a 2014 bike trail accident that occurred within the state park at Lake Natoma. The accident involved two couples: two pedestrians on a date, and a married pair of cyclists on a tandem bicycle. One of the pedestrians (a teen girl at the time) was on the wrong side of the trail when the bicyclists approached, and it resulted in a crash with three injuries. Both bicyclists were left unconscious, but the woman cyclist was in a coma for three days, followed by several months in a hospital intensive care unit, and then forced retirement from work with permanent injuries. The jury concluded that the girl pedestrian was 60 percent responsible for the crash as a result of being on the wrong side of the trail, and that the two bicyclists are due $10.2 million in damages. Practicing some of the trail etiquette outlined below surely would have prevented the whole mess, including the unfortunate injuries.


  • Keep to the right side of the trail
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Pass on the left side of oncoming pedestrians/runners
  • Ride at a safe speed
  • Ride single-file in congested or reduced visibility conditions


  • Keep to the left side of the trail (facing oncoming cyclists)
  • Watch for other trail users
  • Walk single-file in congested or reduced visibility conditions
  • Keep dogs on a 6' leash (rein them in when stopped along a trail)


  • Be friendly and show courtesy to other trail users at all times
  • Respect the environment
  • Respect the rights of property owners
  • Leave no trace (including pet waste)
  • Be sure you can hear what's going on around you
  • If you need to stop on the trail, be sure to move off to the shoulder