(Goose Flat and Oaks Nature Trails)
20 miles from Auburn Courthouse. Miles of easy trails.
Often overlooked as a hiking destination and better known and used as a boater’s campground for people fishing and skiing on Folsom Lake, this campground also has some nice walking trails to enjoy. The Oaks nature trail is a couple miles round-trip and the Goose Flat trial extends along Folsom Lake’s east shore towards the Goose Flat site which is near the old foundation for the missing Rattlesnake Bar Bridge.
Directions: Take highway 49 seven miles towards Placerville to the town of Cool and keep going to Pilot Hill in 4 more miles. Turn R onto Rattlesnake Bar road and go 9 miles to the entrance to the Peninsula Campground (ASRA). There is a day use fee.
The Oaks Trail is in a half mile from the entrance station taking the left option at the first fork in the road. It is designed for wheelchairs and has educational placards explaining the local plants and animals of the area. It follows around the shoreline and is 2 miles long. Easy and fun for kids and adults.
The Goose Flat Trail is a bit harder to find and needs help. The best help for it would be more use. The trail is to the right towards the boat ramp as you enter from the entrance station, and is only marked by a decrepit post that has a horseshoe and footprint on it. The trail was built for horses and hikers and is part of an overall perimeter trail around Folsom Lake but it doesn’t get much use and is slowly fading away the further you get from its start. The trail gently climbs and falls towards Goose Flat through oak woodlands and winter grazing country until it reaches Granite Springs creek where brush has stolen its course. Volunteers hope to improve the trail in the future so don’t give up on it. Although made for equestrians, they don’t apparently want to pay a park fee for a chance to ride on an obscure trail that leads to nowhere; but hikers might.
A bridge at Rattlesnake Bar would connect this trail to the XP trail (see p. 31) making a trail all the way around Folsom Lake! Wouldn’t that be great?!!