Hinkle Creek Nature Area

Hinkle Creek Nature Area is a thirty-six acre lot of pure nature. It consists of a stunning trail that coils around gorgeous trees, petite pastures, and the Hinkle Creek. This picturesque nature area is wonderful for leisurely walks, trail running, and horseback riding.

• Easy to Locate? Yes
• Pet Friendly? Yes. Keep your dog on a leash
• Easy to Walk? Yes. The trail is easy to navigate and easy to walk, with very little elevation gain.
• Is there a Fee? No
• Are there Restrooms? Sort of. Only when the nature center is open.
• Is there Accessible Parking? Yes, in a small gravel lot right in front of the trailhead.
• Other Notes: The trail is somewhat narrow and dirt. There are markers along the way that correspond to different observations/sites.

See my FLICKR account for more albums of photos taken at this location.

The nature area consists of a nature center as well as walking trails. These can be seen just prior to entering “Lew Howard Park”.

According to notes on the place: The history of Hinkle Creek goes way back to the early 1800’s. This area where the nature area is currently located used to be open space area which was between housing developments and Lew Howard Park. The developer decided to transfer ownership to the City of Folsom in late 70’s.

Today you will find an converted fire station which now house classrooms and educational material for the public as well as schoolchildren to learn about the environment, and the history of Hinkle Creek.  There are also educational material along the trail explaining the different habitats and plants found along the creek.

The riparian woodland along Hinkle Creek has willows, white alders and valley oaks. The blue oak woodland has blue oaks, interior live oaks, foothill pines and California buckeye. A rich understory of shrubs, forbs and grasses is present including miner’s lettuce, blackberries, and elderberries. The Federally threatened Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle may be present.  A few dead trees provide important wildlife values and add to the natural surroundings.

A 1984 winter survey by Jack Wilburn showed 41 species of birds and numerous mammals including deer, coyote, opossum, raccoon, gray fox, Audubon cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, western gray squirrel. The Pacific rattlesnake is present, so watch your step.

Birds include California jays, turkeys, red-shafted flickers, brown towhees, Western mockingbirds, mourning doves, white-tailed kites, crows, vultures soaring overhead, red-shoulder hawk, Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, acorn woodpecker, tree swallows, robins, Oregon juncos, Anna’s hummingbirds, bullock’s oriole, plain titmouse, and passing to and fro. Overhead, flying to other places are egrets, Canada geese, mallard ducks, great blue herons and California gulls.

How to Get to the Creek:

  • From Sacramento
  • Take Highway 50 East toward the city of Folsom
  • Take EXIT 23 to Folsom Blvd.
  • Turn LEFT onto Folsom Blvd.
    • Stay on Folsom Blvd. and it will become Folsom-Auburn Road
  • Remain on Folsom-Auburn Road until you see a McDonald’s on you LEFT
  • Turn LEFT there onto Oak Avenue
  • Turn RIGHT onto Baldwin Dam Road
  • The nature center and trailhead will be on your LEFT

7000 Baldwin Dam Road, Folsom, CA
General Info: 916-461-6601

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist

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