Folsom’s trails are a mecca for hikers, bikers, equestrians, and local families. As they wind through Folsom and it’s surrounding areas for 95 miles, the trails offer an abundance of scenic views of lakes, rivers, and native flora and fauna. It’s no surprise that trails in and around Folsom top list after list of the best places to hike, bike, and take the family. One section of trail is going to have even more to offer to visitors, and it’s something that’s never been seen before.
The City of Folsom has begun work on a one-of-a-kind project along a 2.7 mile section of trail in the shadow of the famous Folsom Prison: The Johnny Cash Art Trail Experience.
This section of trail will be part art-museum, part history-museum, and part nature trail; an innovative interactive tribute to the legendary Johnny Cash.
The Johnny Cash Art Trail is set to be the gem of Folsom’s beautiful trail system.
Intrigued? Check out our FAQs below for more information on this unprecedented experience.
FAQs About The Johnny Cash Art Trail Experience
What is the Johnny Cash Art Trail?
The Johnny Cash Art Trail is an interactive art experience paying tribute to the Man in Black.. The trail will consist of 8 sculptures, set along a 2.7 mile trail in the shadow of the very prison that Cash made famous- Folsom Prison. Visitors will be able to download an interactive app and audio guide to enrich their experience.
The trail will also include the 3-acre Johnny Cash Legacy park on the corner of East Natoma Street and Folsom Lake Crossing.
Who are the artists?
- Romo Studios LLC: A Sacramento based creative public art firm.The studio is completing 7 of the trail’s 8 sculptures.
- The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany: This studio is based in Illinois. Their artists’ public and private works have been shown across the US, as well as internationally in Belgium, France,
Israel, and China. The Rotblatt-Amrany studio is completing the statue “Man in Black” for the Johnny Cash Legacy Park.
- RRM Design Group: A San Luis Obispo based design firm with more than 40 years of experience. This group is designing the park concept and landscape architecture for the trail.
What art can I see on the trail?
Eight art pieces of art will be displayed along the trail:
- Cash’s Pick: Two seven-foot statues of Johnny Cash’s pick will mark the trail’s beginning and end.
- Folsom Prison Blues: This statue of a set of tall steel poles shows a silhouette of Cash when viewed from the right angle.
- Ring of Fire: This seven-foot-high sculpture is a ring of fire made from guitar picks. It will be set on a ledge overlooking the trail and illuminated with LED lights.
- Greystone Chapel: This sculpture is made of granite blocks featuring plaques bearing text from letters sent to Cash from inmates who saw him perform.
- Hello, I Am Johnny Cash: This statue shows Johnny Cash seated on a stool holding his guitar.
- Rusty Cage: This statue features three enormous guitar necks, set in a box the size of a Folsom Prison jail cell.
- Man in Black: This statue will be a 40-foot sculpture of the man-in-black himself, set atop a 10-foot base.
Will the trail take tourists too close to the prison?
No. The public won’t be anywhere near the prison’s perimeter fence. Furthermore, the trail will be clearly signed so that visitors can tell which land is prison property and which is public.
When will the project be completed?
The City of Folsom completed the first phase of the project in October, 2014, and the trail is expected to be completed in 2017.
How can I participate?
Private donations from fans of the project will be funding the art pieces found along the Johnny Cash Art Trail Experience. That means you can be a part of this one-of-a-kind tribute to the legendary Johnny Cash.
The City of Folsom will be thanking contributors with a permanent spot on the Donor Wall; a steel wall with engraved plaques containing the names of those who make a minimum donation.
When you make a tax-deductible gift towards the Johnny Cash Trail in any amount, you have the opportunity to be a part of the trail, an incredible tribute to Johnny Cash, and an art experience like none other.
Fun Facts about Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison, and more
The Johnny Cash Art Trail experience will allow you to connect with the singer’s legacy like never before. If you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to experience the finished trail!
Here are a few fun facts about Johnny Cash’s music and legacy to hold you over until you can walk the trail yourself:
- In 2016 a new species of tarantula was discovered near Folsom Prison. The large black spider was named after the man in black. It’s scientific name is Aphonopelma johnnycashi.
- Johnny Cash was inspired to write the single “Folsom Prison Blues” after seeing the film Inside The Walls of Folsom Prison while stationed in Germany in the early 1950s.
- Johnny performed for the inmates at Folsom Prison twice on January 13th, 1968. The concert was a recording session for his live album At Folsom Prison, and they scheduled two performances in case something went wrong with the recording at the first one.
- Cash won two grammies for the album At Folsom Prison.
- Recorded in 1968, the live album At Folsom Prison went gold by the end of that year, and went platinum a little under two decades later.
- Johnny Cash wasn’t the only celebrity to take a shine to Folsom Prison- many films and movies have been shot there. Parts of Another 48 Hours with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte were filmed in Folsom Prison. The film Jericho Mile, the directorial debut of Michael Mann, was filmed in the prison.
- In January 2006, actor Joaquin Phoenix held a screening of his 2005 film Walk The Line for the inmates of Folsom Prison, 38 years to the month after Cash himself had performed. The screening was held after an invitation from an outreach group called Prison Fellowship, who believed inmates might be inspired by the film’s story of redemption.
The performance at Folsom Prison in 1968 began a new golden era for Johnny Cash’s career and the City of Folsom. What better way to celebrate that legacy than with an experience that allows new generations to experience Cash’s music?
Are you a country music fan?
An art-enthusiast or a history buff?
Fan of the Man in Black?
Maybe you just have a pair of walking shoes and a taste for adventure.
Whatever the case, the Johnny Cash Art Trail is an experience you won’t want to miss.