It’s been 46 years since Johnny Cash revived his career with At Folsom Prison, a live album recorded at one of California’s first maximum-security prisons. Now, thanks to a city-wide project that’s been in the works since October 2010, Folsom has completed the first leg of the Johnny Cash Trail and Overpass, allowing local pedestrians and bicyclists the chance to walk the 2.5-mile line between Folsom Lake and the city’s downtown district. Once completed, a good chunk of the path will cross prison-owned property.
Last week, Rosanne Cash attended the unveiling ceremony for the trail’s pedestrian bridge, a $3.8-million project whose two pillars are designed to resemble the prison’s east gate guard towers. Just a few hundred yards away sits the cafeteria where her father recorded his famous album in January 1968.
Interactive sculptures, a 2-acre public park and a 40-foot steel statue of Johnny Cash will eventually line the trail. Those additions carry a hefty price tag of $3 million, which Folsom officials are hoping to raise through donations. For now, the overpass — located at Folsom Lake Crossing Road and East Natoma Street — is the trail’s crown jewel.