Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Yes
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park preserves some of the world's oldest hydroelectric facilities in a parklike environment on the banks of Lake Natoma and the American River. The park contains a visitor center and volunteer docent-staffed powerhouse buildings that today contain pictures and displays of the buildings' historic tenure generating power for Sacramento.

Opened in 1895, the generators were capable of producing 11,000 volts of electricity, which were transmitted to Sacramento to power street cars to the state capitol building. Eventually ceasing service in 1952, the grounds surrounding the powerhouse buildings still contain the canals and forebays constructed to route American River water through the two powerhouses. A couple of short trails allow visitors to explore the park grounds and some of the historic constructions built around the powerhouses.

The park grounds have several old buildings, a there are short trails that lead to various historic developments and down to the banks of Lake Natoma, where there are areas wide enough to pitch lawn chairs and where the water is calm enough to wade. You may also see old Native American grinding rocks there, evidence that this area was historically used and inhabited by past cultures.

Volunteer docents and the visitor center that contains interactive exhibits keep a fairly limited schedule of Wednesdays through Sundays, 12 noon to 4 p.m. 

Entrance to the visitor center and park is free, though the parking lot requires a day-use fee of $10 that is payable at a self-pay station. There is a free parking lot located about one block away in downtown Folsom. Visitors can contact the park at 916.988.0205, or they can set up a group tour prior to visiting by calling 916.985.4843. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Open for docent-led tours. Quiet park environment.

Cons

Limited hours.

Features

ADA accessible
Historically significant
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Guided tours
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Potable water

Location

Field Guide

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