Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail will soon welcome its first piece of public art in the Form of “Cash’s Pick,” which has reportedly been completed and is ready to be delivered to the 95630 to stand not too far from where Cash recorded his live album “Folsom Prison Blues,” inside the walls of Folsom Prison. 

The first of two giant guitar pick art pieces will be installed at lower entrance of the Johnny Cash trail near the Historic Folsom side of the Rainbow Bridge.


This weekend, the Folsom City Council gave the City Manager to authorize a an agreement with Central Valley Engineering & Asphalt of Roseville in the amount of $299,000 to perform the installation of the art piece in the coming weeks.

Last summer, funding was secured in the previously passed California State Budget that permitted the City of Folsom to move forward with the various forms of artwork for one of its most unique trails. Folsom resident and California State Assemblyman Josh Hoover was instrumental in the passage of the California budget bill that secured $425,000 to the City of Folsom Parks & Recreation Department for the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience for what is referred to as “Cash Pick No. 2.”  Eventually, both picks will grace the opposite ends of the trail.


The City of Folsom completed and opened the Johnny Cash Trail on October 14, 2017 – a 2.5 mile Class I bike and pedestrian trail that majestically connects the Folsom Historic District home to restaurants and shops to the Folsom Lake Crossing Trail welcoming visitors to the heart of historic Folsom.

The trail connects not only two of the area’s waterways – the American River and Folsom Lake – but also two places of extensive historic interest: Historic Folsom District and Folsom Prison. Curving through rolling hills dotted with oak trees, the trail travels along the edge of prison grounds.


Designed to encourage community enrichment, the trail is open to all. Whether on bike or by foot, the trail provides plenty of opportunity to get out into nature and enjoy the benefits of exercise.


Fundraising has been ongoing and  is essential for the development and placement of the art experiences that will adorn the trial; eight art installations inspired by the Man in Black and his historic performance in Folsom. 

The recently completed seven-foot-tall pick and future Johnny Cash Trail scuptures have been designed and are being created by local artist Adan Romo. Romo Studios is based in Sacramento and is a creative public art firm consisting of Adan and Jesus Romo. Adan’s many national commissions include civic buildings, veteran memorials, and artwork for religious institutions. Some of his local work can be seen at Folsom Lake College as well as throughout the community of Natoma Station in Folsom In addition to creating his commissioned sculptures, Adan teaches sculpture, art history, and film at St. Francis High School, and serves as Chair of the Visual Arts.


Jesus’ many national and international commissions include civic buildings, veteran memorials, artwork for religious institutions, and memorials for public safety officers. Jesus’ experience as a veteran and firefighter provide inspiration for his commissioned pieces, among them the California Firefighter’s Memorial located on Sacramento’s Capital Mall.

Romo is the artist that will be responsible for seven of the art sculptures along the Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom, CA. His designs include, Cash’s PickFolsom Prison BluesRing of FireGreystone ChapelHello I’m Johnny Cash, and Rusty Cage.

The Johnny Cash Trail is 2.5 miles long and connects to Folsom’s already expansive trail network. Most notably, the trail connects to the American River Trail, recognized as one of the top bike trails in the nation. The Master Plan for the Johnny Cash Trail can be reviewed HERE.

Folsom’s 50+ miles of beautiful, paved trails are considered by many residents to be one of the City’s most cherished assets. Folsom’s trail network takes cyclists and pedestrians on a journey through greenbelts, dedicated open space corridors, wooded areas with native oaks, through wildlife habitats, and past creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers.

The 32-mile long American River Trail, also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, is used by approximately 5 million people annually. The origin of the trail dates back to the 1800s, when Jedediah Smith broke a trail between Old Sacramento and Folsom. Largely abandoned for many decades, after automotive travel took over as the main mode of transportation, the trail was rediscovered by cyclists and paved in the 1970s to be enjoyed again.

The Johnny Cash Trail connects with existing trail in the Historic Folsom District, where cyclists can access the Folsom connector onto the American River Trail.

About Johnny Cash and his Folsom connection

In the midst of depression and a steep decline in his musical career, legendary country singer Johnny Cash arrives to play for inmates at California’s Folsom Prison on January 13, 1968. The concert and the subsequent live album launched him back into the charts and re-defined his career.

Despite his outlaw image, Cash never went to prison, save for a few nights drying out in various jails. It was not his own experience but rather the crime film Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison that inspired him to pen “Folsom Prison Blues,” which was a modest hit for Cash in 1956. The song, characteristically mournful, is written from the point of view of an inmate “stuck in Folsom Prison” after shooting a man in Reno “just to watch him die” – Cash explained that he wanted to come up with the most senseless reason imaginable for the speaker to have committed murder. 

Cash was popular in prisons across America and was known to correspond with imprisoned fans, and first played at Folsom in 1966 on the suggestion of a local preacher. Two years later, needing something to jump-start his career, he convinced his record company to let him record a live album there.

Adan Romo and Romo Studios shared this sneak peek during the construction of Cash’s Pick recently.