Running at Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and Browns Ravine is a beautiful recreation area just in North Folsom. The year I ran the trail half marathon there. The day before, I spent some time checking it out. I wanted to know what to expect when running the trails. Plus, when you are racing, you sometimes end up zoning out and missing the beauty of a park.

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine

This year, Folsom Lake was known for the “super bloom” of flowers. I saw them first hand, and it was beautiful! Sadly, in 2021, the lake is extremely low, and boating might not happen. The purple lupine blankets the paths at Beeks Bight along the lake in Granite Bay. Before reading about it, I thought it was “normal,” but 2021 was a special year.

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine is located at the base of the Sierra foothills.

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine

What can you do at Folsom Lake Recreation Area?

The Folsom Lake area and Browns Ravine does cost $12 for parking. It was fairly expensive, but the area is beautiful and well kept.

  • Viewing the Folsom Powerhouse, which was once the greatest operative electrical plant on the American Continent. From 1885-1952 it produced 11,000 volts of electricity for Sacramento!
  • Hiking and running
  • 32-mile long bike path
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Horseback riding
  • Water-skiing
  • Boating: Folsom Lake Marina is the only marina at the lake open year-round.
  • Fishing. There is actually plenty to fish, including trout, catfish, big and smallmouth bass, or perch.

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine

My experience at Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine:

As mentioned, I’ve now been to Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine twice. Both times running on the Browns Ravine South Shore Trail (you can see the route here).

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine
The super bloom

The trail is roughly 13.1 miles out and back. It is almost all single track and fairly technical with a lot of rocks. The route itself has about 1200 feet of elevation gain. There are no “big hills,” but there are no flat sections either. You will always go up or down. There are also several stream crossings too, but there are a few rocks so you can avoid getting your feet wet.

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine
Running the trails

You need good shoes if you are going to walk, hike, or run any portion of it, and you don’t need to do the entire thing. There are plenty of spots to jump on or off the route. There are a few spots where the grass is extremely overgrown, but the trail is easy to see, and the entire route has gorgeous views of Lake Folsom.

Folsom Lake and Browns Ravine
Trail markings for the Lake Folsom Half Marathon

If you are ever in the area, I highly suggest taking a trip there.

You can see more hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Lake Folsom or Browns Ravine?

What is your favorite trail run?