FOLSOM (CBS13) — Fearless slackliners in Folsom balanced 30-feet in the air this weekend, catching the eye of hikers and kayakers near Lake Natoma.
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As jaw-dripping as the balancing act may seem, state park officials say it’s also not allowed.
Brad Franklin witnessed the high aerial acrobatics while on a hike with his wife Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t know how high up he is. He’s probably 40 feet off the water,” Franklin said.
Franklin said their hike along the American River turned into a hair-raising show as they saw those brave balancing people walking above the water near Lake Natoma in Folsom.
“I just got my camera out and was taking pictures of it; taking video of it. And he falls off…he had a safety line on so he didn’t fall into the river,” Franklin said. “So I thought I’m just going to get a video of this guy walking across the river and he did.”
Whether you were hiking above or paddling below, seeing these high-wire walkers is something to catch your eye. But, it also caught the eye of the California State Parks. Richard Preston-LeMay, the sector superintendent for the Folsom Sector of California State Parks, told CBS13 that it is considered a high-risk activity.
“So, that makes it illegal besides the damage that can be done to the resources for connecting the slacklines either trees or insert bolts into rocks,” Preston-LeMay said.READ MORE: Bicyclist Hit By Vehicle In Downtown Sacramento
Preston-LeMay says they get a couple of calls a year for people slacklining. Their rangers either shut them down and explain the rules and regulations. Sometimes there are more serious avenues than just a warning.
“They’re going to run the risk of, like I said, either getting a citation which could cost them several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. And, if they’re continuing to violate, they can end up getting arrested and go to jail,” Preston-LeMay said.
Preston-LeMay told CBS13 the last time someone was permitted to slackline over these waters was in 2019. There was a special permit granted for a slacklining event that was held in honor of the centennial celebration of the City of Folsom’s Rainbow Bridge.
He did mention if there was a similar event that California State Parks would consider working out a potential special event permit.
Despite how captivating and intense these sights are, slacklining has those like Franklin being able to see both sides of the act balancing a thin line.
“I mean State Parks can do what they have to do. That’s all great,” Franklin said. “But, it was fun. It was amazing. And people that were seeing it, they were walking down the trail. Everyone stopped to look.”MORE NEWS: Crews Contain Fire Near Sheridan, Evacuations Lifted
California State Parks told CBS13 that park staff did make contact with a group slacklining at Lake Natoma last month. No citation was issued, the group was educated and cooperatively left the park.