If you live in or near Folsom, there’s a good chance you may have heard about the Johnny Cash Trail. You may certainly have noticed the distinctive overpass as you drive down Folsom Lake Crossing Road towards East Natoma Street; after all, it’s a new Folsom landmark that’s hard to miss.
But many local residents are still a bit confused about the Johnny Cash Trail, overpass, and park.
If you’ve been wondering what the Folsom Cash trail is or what it means for the city... keep reading.
You may be surprised what this trail means for Folsom.
The Johnny Cash Trail itself is a multi-use bike/ running trail, like many other trails running through the City of Folsom. This 3-mile stretch of trail runs right past Folsom Prison as it stretches from the American River Canyon to the Folsom Dam. Cyclists, runners, and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a scenic view of the American River, Folsom Lake, and the historic Folsom Prison as they use the trail.
But that’s not all.
Because the Johnny Cash Trail will offer more than just Folsom’s natural beauty along the trail. It also features a public art project, park, and amphitheater as well.
The art, eight larger than life sculptures, and three-acre park all honor the historical tie between the City of Folsom, Folsom Prison, and the legendary Johnny Cash.
So what does this mean for the City and residents of Folsom?
The trail is an art gallery and a history museum. It’s a biking trail and a jogging path. It’s a music venue. It’s the perfect spot for a family picnic or a first date. It is sure to be a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.
QUIZ: Which Johnny Cash Tune is Your Theme Song
Take this quiz to find out which Johnny Cash tune is your theme song.
What Does The Johnny Cash Trail Mean For Folsom?
The trail project has already garnered incredible enthusiasm on a local, regional, and even national level. This project will be funded by donations from Folsom residents, Johnny Cash fans, bikers, and art love, and organized by the passionate staff at the City of Folsom.
Why has one trail inspired so much enthusiasm?
It Brings Public Art To Our Community
This trail is a great representation of the City’s commitment to bringing more art and cultural programs to the community.
Public art enriches your local culture, celebrates Folsom’s unique community, and brings economic value to your town.
Public art installations make fine art accessible. There’s no fee, no gatekeeper. You can take your family, get out in nature, and enjoy the beauty of these pieces.
It Shows Off Folsom’s History
The Johnny Cash Trail will give hikers, bikers, and dog walkers a unique glimpse into Folsom’s interesting and unique history.
- Folsom Lake and Dam: The trail begins at the corner of Folsom Lake Crossing and Natoma Street. Just past the trail, under the Johnny Cash Bridge stretching over East Natomas, visitors can see the dam and lake. The dam was built in 1955, creating the lake and feeding the Nimbus Powerplant down river.
- Folsom Prison: The trail passes right by the famous Folsom Prison. The prison is the second oldest in California, and is best known for Cash’s song Folsom Prison Blues. This song introduced the world to the little city of Folsom, CA.
- The Sacramento Valley: The higher points on the trail give viewers a view of the Sacramento Valley, a beautiful piece of Folsom’s natural history and one of California’s rich agricultural centers.
- City Hall and Historic Downtown: Hikers and bikers who follow the trail from the Folsom Lake Crossing, past the prison, will find themselves ending their journey near Folsom’s City Hall, a short trip from Historic Downtown. This lively part of town traces its roots back to the Gold Rush.
It’s A Gorgeous New Bike Trail
Folsom is home to 43 miles of paved trails for bikers and pedestrians. These trails are well-loved by residents and visitors alike, which means that biking, hiking, and jogging are popular local pastimes.
After all, we’ve hosted major cycling events like the international AMGEN race for a reason... the biking in Folsom is awesome!
The Johnny Cash Trail adds another 2.7 miles to Folsom’s trail system. Plus, it’s a great connection between the existing trails near the lake and historic Folsom and the trails near the American River.
It Enhances Folsom’s Tourism Industry
The Gold Rush literally put Folsom on the map, but Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues skyrocketed it into pop culture. Cash’s legacy brings tourists from all over to visit the town and prison behind the song.
Folsom’s tourism bureau recognizes three main reasons people love to visit Folsom: the cycling and running trails; the rivers and lakes; and the legacy of Folsom Prison and Johnny Cash.
There are countless benefits to a community when tourism brings new people to town. The most obvious benefit is, of course, economic. More visitors to local hotels, restaurants, and shops means more money for the local economy. But the benefits extend beyond the obvious, as well.
Did you know that tourism has environmental benefits, too?
Tourism can provide financial support for the conservation of local habitats and ecosystems. The more tourists flock to Folsom to enjoy its natural beauty... the more that natural beauty can be protected and nurtured for everyone to enjoy.
Folsom Prison has been drawing in Johnny Cash fans from around the world ever since his 1968 performance. The Johnny Cash Art Trail will provide visitors to Folsom an incredible experience that shows off all the city has to offer; cycling trails, rivers, nature, art, and more.
It’s Perfect For Families
There’s something here for everyone- the Folsom Cash Art Trail makes for the ultimate family outing.
Take the whole family out for a bike ride.
Take your kids for a hike and introduce them to local history and culture. They’ll be having so much fun with the trail’s audio guide and interactive app they won’t even notice the outing is educational.
Enjoy a picnic at the Johnny Cash Legacy Park.
The Johnny Cash Trail provides families with a safe, affordable option for a day out, whatever you’re interested in.
When will the Trail be Complete?
The City of Folsom completed the first phase of the trail in October 2014, and the project is expected to be completed in 2017. With 8 monumental art pieces to install, there’s a lot of work still to be done.
Want to be a part of the legacy? You can.
The Johnny Cash Trail art is being funded by people just like you.
From fans of Johnny Cash to cyclists, art lovers, and families who are proud to call Folsom home, donations are making this one-of-a-kind project happen. If you would like to contribute to the Johnny Cash Trail, there is still time to do so.
You can also be a part of the story by helping to get the word out about the project itself. So be sure to follow us, sign up for our newsletter, and let your friends and neighbors know -- we’re bringing the Cash back to Folsom.
There’s always something new going on- so make like Cash’s guitar, and stay tuned!