FOLSOM, Calif. — Johnny Cash will leave his mark on Folsom State Prison yet again when the Johnny Cash Trail opens near the prison referenced in Cash’s famous 1955 song “Folsom Prison Blues.” A groundbreaking ceremony for the bike trail was held last week.
The $3 million trail is located on the western edge of Folsom State Prison, the state’s second oldest prison, and the neighboring California State Prison, Sacramento. The trail project includes a bridge over the busy four-lane Folsom Lake Crossing. This part of the project is the most expensive part and is designed to mimic the look of the Gothic guard towers at Folsom State Prison’s west gate.
The first phase of the bike trail will add about 2.5 miles of Class 1 bike trail to the other 35 miles that the City of Folsom currently already offers bikers. It will extend from the Historic Truss bridge to Green Valley Road, while crossing prison property and linking El Dorado and Placer counties to Folsom’s historic district and the American River Parkway.
The Sacramento Business Journal reported that another phase of the trail will take bikers directly up Prison Road to the front gate of Folsom State Prison. Prison officials authorized the construction of the trail as long as an off-street trail was built for guards who wanted to commute to work via bicycle.
The land being used for the trail is currently open space and oak woodland outside of the gates of both prisons. The trail will be open to the public later this fall.
Cindy Cash, Johnny Cash’s daughter, attended the groundbreaking ceremony and a tribute artist provided entertainment.