Historic Folsom is a fascinating place. That's the long and short of it. Its personality pulls strongly from distant history and integrates more recent historical events that make Historic Folsom the unique town it is. There's no better example of that than the Johnny Cash Trail. If you’re a fan of the infamous Man in Black or just a fan of great trails, spending time on the Johnny Cash Trail is a worthwhile investment of your time. Read on to learn all about this lovely trail.
First Class, Class One Trail
Before going into the numerous things that make this trail so wonderful, I'd like to declare the Johnny Cash Trail a First Class trail! What I mean by that is it has every feature a hiker or bike rider could hope for. It's wide, clearly marked, well-groomed, beautifully placed, and lives up to its reputation as a Class One Trail. A class one trail has nothing to do with elevation, topical features, or difficulty level. It means the trail is manageable for hikers without any special equipment. While The Johnny Cash Trail is only 2.5 miles long, it naturally connects to Folsom's expansive (more than 50 miles) trail network, including the American River Trail. The American River Trail is recognized as one of the top bike trails in the United States!
The Gift of Cash
The beauty of The Johnny Cash Trail is multi-faceted. In addition to being a genuinely incredible hiking and biking trail, it embodies the very thing that all Johnny Cash fans know to be true: the man's gift will live on in all the ways that count the most. In the moving documentary, "The Gift, The Journey of Johnny Cash," Johnny Cash recollects a childhood memory of his mom, foretelling that his deep voice was a gift and never to forget that gift (paraphrasing). Walking on The Johnny Cash Trail, you feel that gift in many ways. When on this lovely trail, designed to commemorate Johnny Cash while honoring nature, it's almost as if you can hear echoes of your favorite Johnny Cash song tune. For fans of the man, of course, you appreciate the many details that highlight the connection between Johnny Cash and Folsom.
During its opening ceremonies in 2017, Johnny Cash's daughter, Roseanne Cash, spoke of the family's appreciation for Folsom's dedication to her father's legacy. She said that, on behalf of her entire family, there's something extraordinary about Folsom's connection to them since the famous Johnny Cash concert of 1968. She spoke of how she was sure her dad would be amazed at the loving attention that went into all aspects of the trail dedicated to him. He was a known nature lover, and this trail is a fitting memorial for him. While the whole world continues to benefit from his gift of music, Folsom has the unique honor of benefiting from Johnny Cash's bond with this beautiful town.
An Outlaw At Heart
Despite his outlaw image, Johnny Cash only performed prison concerts during his career and never served time as a prisoner. In fact, it was the moving “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison that inspired him to write the song “Folsom Prison Blues." This song became his first big hit in 1955, and it exploded as Johnny Cash's career morphed with America's image of him as The Man in Black. Johnny Cash was forever considered the performer who had solidarity with those who were poor and beaten down and not just prisoners. Johnny Cash used his gift of musical genius to deliver inspiration to those who were disenfranchised and raised awareness in a way that was well received. You get an authentic feel for the man's heart and career as you walk the Johnny Cash trail. Each sculpture found along the trail is a larger-than-life depiction of Johnny Cash's larger-than-life career. Cash's pick is an inspirational start and finish to the journey taken on this trail and portrays and is meant to symbolize the profound impact Johnny Cash had on the town of Folsom; I love the simplicity of this sculpture of the man, a guitar, and a pick. I just love that!
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash is aptly placed in front of the very Folsom Prison gates the man walked through so many years ago. This seven-foot-tall bronze statue is a moving reminder of the performer’s bond with the town of Folsom. One of the things I love about the art chosen for the Johnny Cash trail is the variety. Towering 50 feet over the center of the Johnny Cash Legacy Park is a 40-foot steel sculpture representing the massive impact the man had on the music industry. To fully appreciate this tribute, visit it when the sun is setting. As the sun sinks low, the Man in Black appears to burst into flames. For more flames, the highest vantage point on the trail is home to the Ring of Fire. Perched 70 feet above the street below, the flaming steel ring appears to be a flaming steel ring, but as you approach it, you appreciate that each flame is actually comprised of smaller interconnected guitar picks! Please take the time to visit this at night when the flames glow due to custom LED lights.
Tucked away in a quiet section of the trail sits Greystone Chapel. Legend has it that a Folsom Prison inmate wrote the song "Greystone Chapel," It somehow made its way into Johnny Cash's hands. Inset into the blocks made by prisoners are metal plaques inscribed with passages from letters inmates would write to Johnny Cash in the years following his historic performance. Another work of art along the trail is "Rusty Case," which represents the man's iconic Martin D-35 guitar neck. When you look between the cable guitar strings, you can see the City of Folsom, the Sacramento Valley, and Folsom Lake. From the beauty nature provides to the stunning artwork, the Johnny Cash Trail is one of a kind and worth the trip to the wonderful city of Folsom.
Green Valley Road Self Storage
The beautiful community of El Dorado Hills is fortunate to be so close to the unique city of Folsom. As your neighborhood self-storage facility, Green Valley Road Self Storage is committed to providing the outstanding service that's made it a valued business in El Dorado Hills for over ten years. At Green Valley Road Self Storage, we're always interested in providing our customers with tips on how to enjoy our community and those like our neighbor, Folsom. We learn about fabulous places like The Johnny Cash Trail from our people like you, so please come by and visit our state-of-the-art self-storage facility and tell us your favorite places to recreate, shop and eat. See you soon!
The Johnny Cash Trail begins at 50 E. Natoma Street.