Folsom's Johnny Cash Trail has quickly become one of the region's most-loved trails. Connecting the Historic Folsom District to the American River Trail, Folsom’s residents flock to the Johnny Cash Trail to enjoy the scenic beauty of Folsom Lake and the American River.
The Johnny Cash Trail was unveiled in 2017 but the City of Folsom is still working on this incredible project. Read on to discover what’s complete and what's still to come for the Johnny Cash Trail.
The Johnny Cash Trail Project Honors Cash's Legacy in Folsom
On January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash recorded a live album for inmates and guards at Folsom Prison. An estimated 1,000 inmates sat silently in the audience until Cash introduced himself:
"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."
The resulting live album, At Folsom Prison, won two Grammies. The single Folsom Prison Blues raced up the charts, reigniting Cash's career and forever connecting the musician with the prison and City of Folsom.
In 2012, the City of Folsom began developing concepts for a project that would honor the lasting legacy of Johnny Cash in Folsom. The project began to take shape as the Johnny Cash Trail: an interactive, multi-use public art trail inspired by the Man in Black for the benefit of the community of Folsom and Cash fans worldwide.
What's Been Completed So Far
Photo courtesy of Coruscating Images
The first two phases of the Johnny Cash Trail project involved completion of the 2.5-mile trail, as well as additional structures needed to connect the trail from the Historic Folsom District to the American River Trail.
Phase 1 of the Johnny Cash Trail was opened in 2014 with the completion of the Johnny the first 1.2-mile of paved Class I and II bike trail and the Johnny Cash Overpass Bridge, which safely took pedestrians and cyclists over Folsom Lake Crossing.
Phase 2 of the Johnny Cash Trail was completed in 2017 with the construction of the remaining 1.25-mile segment of trail (the first phase of the trail ended at Prison Road), an underpass tunnel taking cyclists and pedestrians safely under Prison Road, and the Robbers Ravine wooden bridge spanning a 150-foot ravine behind Folsom Zoo and Folsom City Lion’s Park.
Completion of Phase II also included the installation of a corten steel Donor Wall sculpture designed by Johnny Cash Trail artist Adan Romo to allow project supporters a chance to be a permanent part of the Johnny Cash Trail.
Headed to the Johnny Cash Trail?
Find out where to park, where to start, and what to see.
What's Still to Come
With the trail and infrastructure in place, the City of Folsom has its eyes on the next phase of this unique project: bringing the interactive art experience to Folsom.
The Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience
In 2013, Johnny Cash's daughter Cindy Cash joined an Art Selection Panel for a national call for professional artists to honor Cash's legacy in Folsom.
After great deliberation, two artists rose to the top for their vision for the trail. Sacramento artist Adan Romo of Romo Studios, LLC and Gary Tillery of the Fine Art Studios of Rotblatt-Amrany in Illinois were selected to bring their visions to life.
The first art piece to come to the trail will be Cash's Pick by Adan Romo. Cash's Pick, a 7-foot tall black bronze guitar pick, will be installed in two locations marking the beginning and end of the trail.
Just as Cash's iconic career began with a simple guitar pick, Romo envisioned his bronze pick statues bookmarking both ends of the trail, so whichever direction you choose to go, the journey always begins with Cash's Pick.
RRM Design Group designed a 3-acre park with 25 parking spaces for The City of Folsom. Legacy Park will be located at the intersection of Folsom Lake Crossing and E Natomas Street, adjacent to the Johnny Cash Overpass Bridge and Donor Wall sculpture.
The view of Legacy Park from the trail reveals a giant guitar -- Johnny's characteristic Martin D-35 guitar, to be exact -- shaped by concrete seating areas, colored paving, grass, and steel elements.
Interactive Art Experience
The Johnny Cash Trail art experience has always been intended to be an interactive legacy to the Man in Black, bringing art and music to the City of Folsom. To do this, Adan Romo has proposed an interactive smartphone app to provide a self-guided tour of sites using geo-location software. As visitors tour the artwork along the trail, the proposed app will provide information, music, and stories from Cash's life.
Help Bring the Art Experience to the Johnny Cash Trail
The first two phases of the Johnny Cash Trail project were funded by various federal grants and local transportation funds. Now the City of Folsom is turning to the community and Cash fans globally to help bring the art experience to the Johnny Cash Trail.
Generous contributions from residents, patrons of the arts, local businesses, and fans of Johnny Cash are the driving force behind installing the first work of art on the trail.
You can support the Johnny Cash trail by:
- Making a cash donation
- Purchasing a plaque on the Donor Wall for your family or business
- Purchasing a Johnny Cash Trail Cycling Jersey
- Purchasing a limited edition JCASH50 commemorative license plate collectible
Celebrate Cash's Legacy in Folsom at the Johnny Cash Trail
Fifty years after Cash famously greeted inmates at Folsom Prison with the words "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," his legacy continues to live on. Every year, people travel from all over the world to visit the prison made famous in his song and album. The Johnny Cash Trail honors the connection between Cash and the City of Folsom with a celebration of music, art, and the beautiful natural scenery that was the backdrop to one of the most iconic music moments in history.
Be a part of the story and support the Johnny Cash Trail today.