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Visitation: 1,200,000
Area: 8,000-9,00 Acres
Lat: 38.648014
Lon: 121.189756
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Every Kid in a Park. Initiative that gives every U.S. 4th grader and his or her family free access to 2000+ federally managed lands and waters. Educators can also participate.
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Willow Creek - Site # 251
This park has many ancient blue oak trees that range in age from 400-500 years.

Background: Easily accessible, beautiful, and within one mile of urban amenities.
There is a rich history of gold mining, evidenced by the 'doodle-bug' dredge tailings seen from Lake Natoma's trails.

The Habitat: The two reservoirs dam water from the American River. Vegetation: 50% interior live oak, 25 % blue oak, 14% annual grassland, 5% cottonwood/willow riparian, freshwater marsh and seasonal wetlands, less than 5 acres of vernal pools.

The Experience: Few native oak tree woodlands are in parks to provide wildlife habitat and public enjoyment. This park has many ancient blue oak trees that range in age from 400-500 years.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: The lake and wildlife can be observed from a car in the parking lot, or by sitting at the table, or walking the trails. Best views are by walking away from the main parking lot.

Viewing Tips: Birdwatching is a year-round activity. Fall and spring is migration. Lake Natoma and Folsom Lake have up to 80,000 wintering gulls and some waterfowl. Great blue herons, great egrets and double-crested cormorants begin setting up breeding territories in February and stay until August- young can be seen March though August.

Site Notes: The extensive river bluffs can be observed from Willow Creek. The bluffs viewed from Willow Creek and the trails south to Nimbus Flat have been identified as a National Natural Landmark.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Willow Creek benefits from programs established by the Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project Conservation Program (CVPCP) and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) Habitat Restoration Program. For more infomration, visit: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvpcp/aboutus.html and for information on endangered species http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/#

Nearby Viewing Sites: Lake Natoma is part of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and has various access points for hiking, picnicking and viewing, kayaking, fishing, boating, camping, horseback riding, and bicycle riding. There is a 26 mile paved bike trail between Folsom and Sacramento.

Festivals & Events: Kayak rentals are available from local vendors.
Salmon Festival occurs at Nimbus Flat which is nearby.

Visitor Information: Visit Folsom - (916) 985-2698 - http://visitfolsom.com
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: No
Open: Sun,Mon,Tues,Wed,Thur,Fri,Sat
Hours: April 1 to Nov 1 6am to 10pm, winter hours 7am to
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: Narrow road.

Note 3. Public Safety. Lock your car and keep your valuables with you. Dogs must be on a leash. Visiting California State Parks and viewing wildlife is an experience in the natural world with the same inherent risks as other outdoor adventures. Changing weather conditions, rugged terrain with changing trail and road conditions, and hazards of surf and other waters, plants (poison oak, falling limbs, etc.) and animals (mountain lions, rattlesnakes, ticks, etc.) are a part of life outdoors, as is protecting yourself and your belongings. Use the Visit a Park link at the State Park web page for precautions and public safety information.
 Number of Parking Spaces: 50
Parking Fee: Yes
Proximity to viewing area:0
 Pull-Through Parking: No
Parking Notes: There is a parking lot and three picnic tables, shade ramadas are being constructed in spring 2008.
Parking fee subject to change. See park website.

Note 3. Public Safety. Lock your car and keep your valuables with you. Dogs must be on a leash. Visiting California State Parks and viewing wildlife is an experience in the natural world with the same inherent risks as other outdoor adventures. Changing weather conditions, rugged terrain with changing trail and road conditions, and hazards of surf and other waters, plants (poison oak, falling limbs, etc.) and animals (mountain lions, rattlesnakes, ticks, etc.) are a part of life outdoors, as is protecting yourself and your belongings. Use the Visit a Park link at the State Park web page for precautions and public safety information.

How to Get There: From Hwy 50, if driving east from Sacramento, exit Folsom Blvd, turn north or left. Travel 1 1/4 miles and make a u-turn at Blue Ravine traffic light/intersection. Travel 1/4 mile to the Willow Creek turnoff just before Iron Point traffic light. Enter to the right down a 1/8 mile narrow paved road to the parking and boating area. Look for the interpretive signs for the heron colony. From that location you should be able to see the 80 nests, adults egrets and herons with their chicks from about February/March through August.
 

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Agency Site URL: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=500
Physical Address:7806 Folsom-Auburn Road
Folsom, CA 95630
Agency 2:7806 Folsom-Auburn Road
Folsom, CA 95630
Manager Phone:(916) 988-0205
Site Phone:(916) 988-0205
County: Sacramento
Addition Website: