Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail Grand Opening Celebration

The City of Folsom is hosting a grand opening celebration on Saturday, October 14 for the completion of the Johnny Cash Trail, a 2.5-mile trail that honors one of the world’s most famous country musicians and his influence on Folsom.  

The event will mark the completion of Phase 2 of the trail that includes 1.25 miles of Class I paved trail, an undercrossing that tunnels beneath Prison Road at Natoma Street, and a beautiful 190-foot wooden arched bridge that will provide views of the American River Canyon, Lake Natoma, and beyond.

Festivities include a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony, followed by 4.2 and 6.2-mile timed runs and a community bike ride that starts on the trail, and an outdoor festival in Folsom City Lions Park. That same evening, the new bridge will provide the unique setting for “Out Among the Stars,” an exclusive outdoor dining experience featuring a menu created by Michelin star Chef de Cuisine Duncan Holmes with support from Karen’s Bakery Café.

What:                                   
Johnny Cash Trail Grand Opening

When:                                 
Saturday, October 14 (rain or shine)

Where:                                
On the Johnny Cash Trail segment behind the Folsom Rodeo Arena (200 Stafford Street, Folsom)

Schedule of Events        
8:30 a.m.                              Ribbon Cutting                
9:30 a.m.                              Community Bike Ride                
9:45 a.m.                              6.2-Mile Run                
10 a.m.                                 4.25-Mile Run/Walk                
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Community Festival                
5 p.m.                                   Out Among the Stars Dinner on Robbers’ Ravine Bridge

The new section of the Johnny Cash Trail will connect to existing trail in Digger and Sharon Williams Rodeo Park, providing cyclists, runners, and walkers a convenient route to access Folsom’s Historic District and the extensive American River Parkway trail. Funding for the $3.23 million project is provided by a variety of federal grants and local transportation funds.

In 2014, the City of Folsom opened the first installment of the Johnny Cash Trail and the iconic Johnny Cash Bridge that spans Folsom Lake Crossing Road.  The bridge echoes the look of Folsom Prison’s East Gate guard tower, an iconic feature of Folsom history and location of a famous Cash photo taken before his concerts.

Cash made the prison famous with the hit, “Folsom Prison Blues,” which he performed at Folsom State Prison in 1968.  A passionate advocate for prisoners’ rights, Cash gave numerous performances at prisons around the country.  His two 1968 performances at Folsom State Prison were among his most successful, forever linking the singer to Folsom.  Contrary to popular legend, Cash did not serve time in Folsom Prison, nor any other prison. During his lifetime, Cash used his earnings and influence to support prison reform and believed in the powers of redemption and rehabilitation for the inmates he had met over the years.

The Johnny Cash Trail will set the stage for a world-class public art experience to celebrate and honor one of the world’s most famous country musicians and his influence on Folsom. The project includes eight larger-than-life public art pieces and a three-acre park honoring the Man in Black. 

A Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience fundraising effort is underway, and the Folsom Arts Association is accepting contributions in order to complete the park and art installations. 

Opportunities are available to purchase a plate on the Johnny Cash Trail Donor Wall, located near the Johnny Cash Bridge, overlooking the future site of the Johnny Cash Legacy Park. The donor wall has been fabricated out of five corten steel panels of varying heights; a 7-foot-tall center panel is flanked by 3- to 5-foot-tall side panels. Steel donor plates are available in four sizes.

Limited edition men’s and women’s Johnny Cash Trail cycling kits are available, designed to show off a love for Cash, Folsom and cycling.

Beginning September 14, a limited edition of 100 framed “JCASH 50” commemorative license plate collectibles will be available for purchase. The plates were made by inmates at the Folsom State Prison’s license plate manufacturing facility and pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of “Folsom Prison Blues.” The plates were made available through a partnership with the State of California Prison Industry Authority, Department of Motor Vehicles, the John R. Cash Revocable Trust, and the City of Folsom. 

All of the October 14 events will benefit the Art Experience, with proceeds earmarked for “Cash’s Pick”—two 7-foot-tall bronze guitar picks that will anchor each end of the Johnny Cash Trail.

Visit www.FolsomCashArtTrail.com to learn more about the Johnny Cash Trail and for details about the special events. For more information about Johnny Cash Trail grand opening event, contact Katie Parks at kparks@folsom.ca.us or 916-355-7304.