On October 14, 2017, the City of Folsom is celebrating the Grand Opening of the Johnny Cash Trail after the completion of the second phase of the trail. Now that Phase II is complete, here’s what you can expect from the Johnny Cash Trail expansion.
A Longer, More Connected Trail
The first phase of the trail added 1.25 miles of Class-I bike trail to Folsom’s healthy trail network, as well as the highly visible Johnny Cash Trail Overcrossing bridge. The Johnny Cash Trail expansion added an additional 1.25 miles, lengthening the multi-use, Class I bike trail to 2.5 miles total.
But that’s not all - the trail now connects to existing Class I and II bike trails along Folsom’s 95-mile scenic trail network.
The expanded Johnny Cash Trail makes a complete, uninterrupted loop - connecting to the American River bike trail and Lake Natoma trail. Serious cyclists can make the Johnny Cash Trail part of an all-day bike excursion; the American River trail can take you on a 32-mile ride from Folsom to Old Sacramento.
The trail also provides access to Folsom’s Historic District, which means you can hop on your bike from the Johnny Cash Trail and head over to Historic Folsom for lunch at your favorite restaurant or shopping at one of the district’s local boutiques.
5 Ways to Support the Johnny Cash Trail Project in Folsom
Want to be a part of the Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom? Here are five ways to show your support and help bring this project to life.
Robbers’ Ravine Bridge
Nestled behind Folsom’s City Hall Complex is Robbers’ Ravine. This deep ravine was a previous impediment to trail users who wanted to connect to the American River bike trail. Now, trail goers can easily cross over the ravine on the new Robbers’ Ravine Bridge.
Fun Fact #1: This wooded area is named for outlaws who used the steep ravine as a hideout after robbing stagecoaches in the 1800s.
The Johnny Cash Trail expansion takes riders back to this beautiful, scenic, and historic area that was previously inaccessible. An approximately 190-foot long wooden bridge now spans the ravine, which lies nearly 50-feet below. The bridge design is a perfect fit for the rustic character of the area.
The Robbers’ Ravine Bridge was designed and built in Oregon by Western Wood Structures and delivered to Folsom, where the 80,000 pound bridge was installed by trail contractor Westcon Construction -- along with a little help from one of the largest cranes on the west coast.
The wooden bridge offers expansive views of the American River and Lake Natoma.
Fun Fact #2: The stunning views and rustic beauty of the bridge made it the perfect setting for a bridge dinner fundraiser, a delicious event designed to raise funds for the art installation portion of the Johnny Cash Trail.
Safe Passage Under Folsom Prison Road
The expanded Johnny Cash Trail now provides pedestrians and cyclists safe passage through a 60-foot long undercrossing that runs below Folsom Prison Road. When you come out to walk or bike the trail, you can avoid vehicle traffic at E. Natoma Street and Folsom Prison Road by using the new undercrossing.
Grand Opening Ceremony and Festivities
Folsom is celebrating the Johnny Cash Trail expansion with a Grand Opening Ceremony and festivities that you won’t want to miss. On October 14, 2017, the City of Folsom will kick off the day with a dedication ceremony and a fun run/ community bike ride. Participants can choose from a 6-mile ride, 6-mile run, or 4-mile walk/ run. Live music, vendors, and food trucks will be present for the festivities, and the entire community is invited to the celebration.
At noon, the trail closes for a private event: a fundraising dinner that will be held on the trail that evening. Guests will dine out under the stars and enjoy a farm-to-fork style dinner prepared by Michelin-starred chef Duncan Holmes and his mother Karen, of Folsom’s popular Karen’s Bakery. VIP guests will be in attendance and proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the art installation that’s coming next to the trail.
Johnny Cash Trail Overcrossing Bridge image courtesy of Coruscating Images
Bringing the Art to the Trail
Now that the trail is complete, the City has turned its sights to the next big goal for the project: bringing the art to the Johnny Cash Art Trail.
The trail itself will be transformed into a world-class public art installation honoring the legacy and connection of Johnny Cash in Folsom. Eight larger-than-life sculptures will be installed along the trail and a state-of-the-art app will provide an interactive experience for visitors.
One of the art pieces is so large that an entire 3-acre park has been designed to accompany it. The monumental piece, Man in Black, is a 40-foot tall sculpture of Cash that will sit atop a 10-foot granite rock base. Man in Black will be the centerpiece for the Johnny Cash Legacy Park, which will be located at the corner of Folsom Lake Crossing and E. Natoma Street.
The other art pieces are equally stunning. All of the works of art for the trail were hand-selected by an art selection panel that included Cindy Cash, Johnny’s daughter.
The first installation along the trail will be Cash’s Pick. Cash’s Pick is a 7-foot tall black bronze guitar pick, emblazoned with Cash’s signature on the front. The piece will be placed at two location to mark the beginning and end of the trail.
If you’d like to contribute, the City of Folsom has provided multiple ways for you to be a part of this project and help bring the art to the trail.
Fundraising efforts include:
- 50th Anniversary Commemorative Collectible Plates
- Donor Wall
- Cycling Jerseys/ Kits
- Fun Run and Community Bike Ride
- Cash Donations
- Bridge Dinner Tickets
The completion of Phase II construction on the Johnny Cash Trail means an expanded, more connected trail that’s even closer to reaching its goal of becoming a public art installation. Whether you’re a fan of Cash, the City of Folsom, cycling, or art -- there’s something for everybody out on the trail.
We’ll see you out on the trail!