Best Kayaking and Paddleboarding Spot in Folsom – Lake Natoma at Black Miners Bar

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My husband and I have been coming kayaking to Lake Natoma at Black Miners Bar for over 10 years. Formerly known as Negro Bar, the recently named Black Miners Bar is a picturesque sandy beach located along the shore of Lake Natoma. At this particular spot, the water is so calm and clear. It’s very safe for young children to play, splash around and even swim on hot days.

Despite being a very popular summer destination, many people still don’t know about this lake-side gem. In this guide, I will breakdown all the logistics and help you plan your perfect day trip to this Northern California destination.

Getting to Black Miners Bar

We live in East Sacramento and it takes us less than 30 minutes to arrive at the Black Miners Bar park entrance. Take the 50 East and when you exit into Folsom, you will take Folsom Boulevard all the way to Greenback Lane. Take a left onto Greenback Lane, and then a quarter mile you’ll turn left onto Park Road which leads to the Black Miners Bar park entrance. There’s a park ranger booth where you’ll pay the $10 entrance fee. They will give you a receipt to put on your dashboard. If you don’t pay the fee and show your proof of payment, you risk getting a ticket.

When you drive into the parking lot, there’s multiple lots and multiple areas to access lake water. There’s a boat dock with water access, but this is not the desired beach area. As you drive through the parking lots, there’s a somewhat narrow road that almost looks like a bike bath. Drive down this paved road to reach the beach access area. There’s no signs or any indication of what lays ahead, so you’ll have to just give it a go to see if it’s the right one.

There’s a small parking lot right above the beach area, which is usually full by 9am on the summer weekends. There’s almost always additional parking a bit further away, it will just require more walking and hauling your beach stuff around. I suggest you bring a wagon!

Cost of Entering the Park

Be prepared to pay the $10 fee at the entrance gate. We always bring cash with us, but I believe you can also pay with a credit or debit card.

Launching Your Kayak or Paddleboard Into the Water

The parking lot at Black Miners Bar is up higher on a hill, and everyone needs to either walk down a long staircase or walk down the paved ramp to the beach. Anyone who brings their own kayak or paddleboard needs to be able to carry them up and down the hill from the car. If you are renting kayaks from Lake Natoma Paddle Rentals, the boats are already located on the beach near the water and no carrying is needed.

When you’ve got your kayak all set up on the beach, the water on the shore is very calm and you can easily push out without much effort. Paddling your way out to deeper water is a breeze!

Smooth Waters for Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Lake Natoma’s smooth waters make it an ideal location for beginners just starting to learn kayaking and paddleboarding. The lake’s gentle currents, minimal boat traffic and decreased winds create a calm and controlled environment, allowing newbies to practice their skills without the challenge of navigating rougher conditions.

With numerous sheltered coves and inlets, Lake Natoma provides a safe and supportive setting for mastering the basics of paddling, making it easier for beginners to build confidence and enjoy their time on the water. The surrounding scenic views and accessible launch points are key, promising a pleasant and stress-free outing for those just starting their kayaking or paddleboarding adventures.

Renting Kayaks and Paddleboards

For those who are not looking to financially invest in their own boats, renting kayaks and paddleboards at Lake Natoma is a breeze with Lake Natoma Paddle Rentals. They offer a convenient and hassle-free way to get out on the water.

Located on the shores of the lake at Black Miners Bar beach, this rental service provides a variety of kayaks for paddlers of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a solo adventure or a tandem experience with a friend, Lake Natoma Paddle Rentals has options available. They also have paddleboards available to rent as well.

Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide expert advice, safety instructions, and tips on how to get started. Our family has rented from them many times and always had a good experience. The rental always comes with life vests for adults and kids, which should give you peace of mind.

Days and Times Boat Rentals Are Available

The Lake Natoma Paddle Rentals are only open the weekends Friday – Sunday between 9am – 5pm.

Pricing for Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals

The hourly rental price for single kayaks is $20/hour and $30/hour for tandem (2 people) kayaks.

To rent a single kayak for the entire day is $100, and a tandem kayak is $125 for the whole day.

If you want to rent a paddleboard, it would be $20/hour or $100 for the entire day.

More Insider Tips for Visiting Black Miners Bar Beach

Arrive Early to Get a Parking Spot

Black Miners Bar is a very popular spot on hot summer weekends. While I have never seen the parking lots get completely full, I have had to walk very far from the beach. Hauling loads of stuff really far on a hot summer day is exhausting. The early bird gets the worm… and the best parking spots!

Bring Your Own Shade

There’s very limited shade on the beach and surrounding areas at Black Miners Bar. If you are sensitive to sun and/or having young children and dogs, I highly recommend you bring a shade tent with you. We all also wear sun hats, rash guard tops and sunscreen to avoid sunburns.

Picnic Tables are First Come, First Serve

There’s several picnic tables available for park visitors, and they are all first come, first serve. If you are planning a gathering event with friends or family (like a birthday party for example), I recommend arriving at 8am to secure your table.

What to Pack

If your planning a visit to Black Miners Bar but are unsure on exactly what to bring, here’s a list of the items we always bring:

  • Beach Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun Hats
  • Picnic Foods – Sandwiches, snacks, Etc.
  • Plenty of Water – Keep it cold in an ice cooler
  • A Shade Tent
  • Inflatable Floaties
  • Beach Sand Toys
  • Wagon on Wheels – To carry around all your stuff

Can You Bring Your Dog to Black Miner’s Bar?

I have seen many families with their dogs at this park. Keeping them on a leash at all times is required.

Can you go fishing at Lake Natoma?

In Lake Natome there’s an abundance of fish wildlife including trout, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, and kokanee salmon. A fishing pier is open to the public on Lake Natoma at the Nimbus Flat park entrance. Anyone looking to go fishing must have a valid California fishing license.

Nearby Things To Do in Folsom

After you’ve enjoyed your day at Lake Natoma, you may want to grab a bite to eat. The Folsom Historic District, known as the downtown area, is just a short drive away. You can walk along the main drag of Sutter Street and grab a meal at one of the many restaurants, or grab ice cream and drinks.


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