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Trail Closure Along Lake Natoma Continues…

June 02, 2017 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Parkway Updates, Trails, Videos

This is going to take a while. (SRN photo)

The paved trail along the north-ish side of Lake Natoma (below the Orangevale Bluffs) has been closed now for the past six months, due to multiple, large debris slides during this past winter’s record rains.

If you’ve been waiting with anticipation for the day you’ll once again be able run or ride your bike through here, expect to wait another several months.

Apparently, it won’t be as simple as running a front-end loader down there and scraping up the debris.

According to the folks at the California State Parks Folsom Lake Recreation Area, a detailed evaluation of the bluffs show continued instability and risk of additional failure.

In an email, Folsom Sector Superintendent Rich Preston says, “We are currently working on an interagency agreement with CalTrans to utilize their expertise in preparing a thorough study on the cliffs stability, developing a stabilization plan and scope of work to contract out the work. One of the stabilization methods that will likely be employ is scaling. This will bring additional material down on the trail and cause additional damage to the trail surface.”

For this reason, they probably won’t do any clean-up or trail repair until the project is complete.

Fortunately, there are options.

Cyclists and runners can easily use the trail around the south side, although you have to leave the trail at the Folsom Boulevard Bridge, and cross the river there or proceed along the roadway a bit before you can cross back over the river on the pedestrian bridge.

Runners and horseback riders can find a steep, dirt trail which leaves the paved trail immediately downstream of the downstream barrier, runs along the top of the bluffs, and rejoins the bike trail just above the Negro Bar Picnic area. This trail is occasionally  technical and rocky, but most fit runners and hikers should be able to handle it.

Here’s a sweet drone video of the first slide.

 

There are other, more recent videos on Youtube, which show subsequent rock-fall, but they are potentially incriminating (“I probably shouldn’t have gone past that “do not enter” sign!”) so I didn’t want to share them.

Happy running!

 

 

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