The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (FLSRA) surrounds the reservoir, and is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The lake supports a large number of recreational activities. Aquatic activities account for 85% of all recreation visits to the area, which are designated for hiking, camping, and biking. The lake is also commonly used for fishing, boating, water skiing, and horseback riding.
The majority of the FLSRA is owned by the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, and is managed by the state parks.
Two major freeways feed access to the FLSRA, Highways 80 and 50. Several local roadways, trails, and public transportation routes access the area, including Douglas Boulevard, Auburn/Folsom Road, Folsom Boulevard, East Natoma Street, Green Valley Road, and Salmon Falls Road. The most recognized regional trails are Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail and Pioneer Express Trail. The public transport that accesses the FLSRA include Placer County Transit, Folsom Stageline, Roseville Transit, and Sacramento Regional Transit.
The recreation area is located at the union of the north and south forks of the American River. About 20,000 acres of water and land are within the boundaries of the FLSRA; it spans parts of El Dorado, Placer, and Sacramento Counties, as well as the City of Folsom.
The fishing is tough due to the always rising and falling water levels of the lake. Fish species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, rainbow trout, Kokanee salmon, catfish, sunfish, squawfish, and carp.
Five major day-use areas are on the lake, Granite Bay, Beales Point, Folsom Point, Negro Bar, and Nimbus Flats. Granite Bay and Beals Point are the primary visitor areas on the western shoreline of Folsom Lake, with large day-use areas that include swim beaches, boat-launch facilities, restrooms, landscaped picnic areas, snack-food and beach-equipment concessions, trailheads, and associated parking. The Granite Bay facility includes a multiuse activity center available to rent and Beales Point includes a 69-site campground. The smaller and more remote Rattlesnake Bar visitor area provides boat-launch facilities and informal access to the shoreline for fishing, swimming, and picnicking.
The eastern shoreline is home to Brown’s Ravine and Folsom Point. Brown’s Ravine includes the Folsom Lake Marina, which provides 675 wet slips, 175 dry-storage spaces, boat-launch areas, marine provisions and fueling stations, a small picnic area, and restrooms. Folsom Point includes a picnic area, boat launch, and restrooms. Facilities at these locations include swim beaches, picnic areas, food and beach equipment concessions, equestrian staging areas, restrooms and drinking water fountains, and trail heads with over 94 miles of trails (used by hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and horseback riders).