"Bizz" Johnson (Rails-to-) Trail (Susanville, NE Calif)

OTE Ratings: O4/T1/E1+
Distance: up to 30 miles
Time: up to 6 hours


Rails-to-trail conversion, gentle grades, pretty views. Pretty country. Two train tunnels.

Directions to the start

East of Lassen National Park, take SR-36 to Susanville. Once you're in town, turn south onto Richmond Road. The well-marked trailhead is within 1/2 mile south of 36.

The ride

The article I read said "the six miles closest to Susanville are the most stunning ... as the trail hugs the spectacular Susan River canyon." Well, "spectacular" wouldn't be the word I'd use, but it was pretty, and was a fun and easy ride in pretty country. I rode about 11 miles up from Susanville, through the two tunnels, and climbed a bit over 800 feet. For me, the highlight was the beautiful view of Bunnell Ranch. The other highlight was turning around and going back down -- despite the mildness of the grade, heading downhill made a big speed difference. Total ride for me was about 23 miles.

The trail is actually 30 miles long, so if you like you can make this a sixty-mile, all-dirt-riding day. Or a car shuttle would allow you to make it a thirty-downhill-miles ride. The upper end of the trail is in the little town of Westwood, on county route A-21. That trailhead is at the town park, where there are big statues of Paul Bunyan and the blue ox "Babe".

©1995-2015 Doug Landauer

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