Monday, September 11, 2017

Lake Natoma - Flatwater Fun Near Rancho Cordova

For our 2nd trip with our new kayaks we decided to paddle Lake Natoma. Lake Natoma is on the American River, located between Folsom Dam and Nimbus Dam in Sacramento County. The lake is located within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

Lake Natoma Kayaking
We launched from the Negro Bar area, which was the site of a gold rush era camp for black miners. Now the area hosts many rowing championships and even includes a kayak rental operation. Lake Natoma is 15 miles northeast of Sacramento on highway US 50, so it is very close to home for us. It is a pleasant place to paddle, as long as you don't mind paying. Fees are required for both parking and for each boat you launch.

It is a short paddle from the boat ramp at Negro Bar to the Rainbow Bridge and then until you can see Folsom Prison. It is prudent to then turn your kayaks around and head back once you see the prison, which is what we did. This part of California is the super-scenic but, as with any body of water, it can breathtaking in the right light/weather conditions. I find photo-paddling a bit disappointing around here due to the lack of clouds on most days but there are birds to watch and some lovely rock formations.

What it lacks in scenery it makes up for in lunch options after paddling. We opted for a visit to Famous Burger and I recommend it highly. The burgers are excellent, affordable and they have about a dozen craft beers on tap. Expect a happy landing if you stop by Famous Burgers in Rancho Cordova after your trip!

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