Construction on Folsom Dam began in 1948, and the dam went into operation in 1956. Even now, additions and improvements are being made, like the new spillway, set for completion by the end of this year.
Alongside the dam lies the Folsom Lake Crossing; this new bridge first opened in early 2009. It seems hard to believe now, but it wasn’t so long ago that the service road running along the top of Folsom Dam also served as a public thoroughfare. According to the Sacramento Bee, when that road was finally closed after September 2001 (due to fears of potential terrorist attacks), nearly 20,000 commuters seriously felt the pain!
Hiking or cycling across the Folsom Lake Crossing to the east bank of the American River provides a pretty good cardio workout as it’s mostly uphill. This route also gives some nice views of the dam and — once you finally reach the top of the hill — Folsom Lake. The Bureau of Reclamation reports (PDF link) that as of July 15, the lake was at 93 percent capacity.