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Lake Natoma in California

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Lake Natoma at Negro Bar State Park

Lake Natoma is not far below the Folsom Dam. Kayaking is a big part of the activities happening on this lake. It is not nearly as crowded as other Folsom, Calif. spots for a warm summer weekend.

There are a lot of places to paddle on this lake, but don't paddle past the sign forbidding boats beyond this point. If you do, you take your chances with the correctional officer in the guard tower at Folsom Prison. A good place to sing a little Johnny Cash, though

It is a very pleasant place to paddle, lot's of birds and critters to see and an easy getaway for folks in the Sacramento area. The lake is nice and wide until it narrows down in the canyon, which is where you can do all of your sightseeing.

There are many little side sloughs for quiet contemplation and bird watching. There are bike trails on both sides of the river, accessible from county and state parks. I am not sure the length of the lake, but it is close to 6 miles.

There is a kayak rental located at the picnic area right on the water to rent all kinds of equipment. They have Hobie Mirage Kayaks for one or two people. As well as regular sit inside and sit on-top kayaks. A new addition they have is SUP Boards, they have a huge stock of equipment, and hardly ever run out even on the busiest days of summer.

Things to watch out for:
There are rocks where you least suspect it. The water level can change due to upper dam releases. Other than that, it is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy your day out on the water.


The state park is great, you can park very close to the water, or there is a ramp. There is also a nice grassy area and a sandy beach and bathrooms with running water.


There is a $10 fee to enter the park.


For Negro Bar State Park:

From Sacramento on Highway 50, take the Folsom Rd exit at the city of Folsom. After the bridge over the river, turn left onto Greenback. Negro Bar State Park is immediately on the left.
From I-80, take Greenback almost to Folsom and turn right into the park


Negro Bar State Park


Adventure Sports Rentals, LLC can be reached via phone or email. Or on Facebook.

Phone: 916-622-0489

E-Mail: advsportsrentals (at)

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location