Monday, December 2, 2013

Hidden History at Folsom Lake

For those of use that were not around before 1955 what lies beneath the waters of Folsom Lake is mystery. The Folsom Dam was finished in 1955 and with it's completion miles of river were lost as were the historical sites that now are part of Folsom Lake. The lake is currently at only 25% of capacity and that has exposed many areas that are typically well under the surface.  Some of the sites include the former town of Mormon Island, the original Salmon Falls Bridge and the dam site of a dam dating to the 1860's.

Old Salmon Falls Bridge
We set out for the Old Salmon Falls bridge after parking off of Salmon Falls Road at Falcon Crest. I'm cheap and the 10 minutes of additional walking is well worth avoiding a $10 day use fee. After parking the car walk into the day use area and the bridge will become visible. Don't try to find a trail, it's usually underwater so you can probably figure out why there isn't one. We pretended to be walking under water, and the girls loved the wide open space to explore.  On our way we passed old foundations and crossed a creek running towards the river. We really just scratched the surface of what is out there to find a see.
Foundation at Salmon Falls 1918

Once we reached the bridge the girls explored some more and enjoyed the nice set that an old abutment made. Having never seen this section of river before it became a lake it was very neat. It's unfortunate that the lake is this low but it provided a very cool place to walk around and explore. Unfortunately it seems that these sites are exposed and accessible more than they used to be. While it may not be good for boating it's great for hiking. I hope to make it back for some more exploring before the lake covers them once again you should too.
Walking across the bridge

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