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Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail

Easy
 4.0 (2)

If you liked the Trail of the Hiawatha, this is a close second.


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Map Key

26.9

Miles

43.2

KM

Doubletrack

5,575' 1,699 m

High

4,226' 1,288 m

Low

1,456' 444 m

Up

418' 127 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Susanville has four seasons because of the high elevation. The trail begins at 4200' on the east side of the Sierra and Cascade Ranges in Susanville, climbs 1300' to a high point of 5500' at Westwood Junction then drops 400' to its eventual future terminus in Westwood at elevation 5100'. Check current conditions before planning a trip on the trail by calling (530) 257-0456.

Description

Enjoy a very gradual climb along the Susan River. With numerous side singletrack trails that dump back to this trail, there is no worry about getting bored. This rail trail was rated the most scenic rail trail in California by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

There are numerous places to access the trail so ride parts of it whenever or grind it all out in one trip.
A great time of year to ride this trail is the fall when all the color has popped. The tree canopies are nature's stain glass windows set against blue sky.

Following the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad, the trail winds 27 miles from Susanville to Mooney Road. The trail follows the Susan River. As it winds through the rugged Susan River Canyon. The trail crosses the river 12 times on bridges and trestles and as a bonus, you get to pass through two tunnels.

In 1978, the Southern Pacific Railroad shut down most of the old Fernley and Lassen Railroad branch line that had carried supplies and occasional passengers from early 1914 through the end of 1956. The Bureau of Land Management, finding the line vacated and abandoned, spearheaded the rails-to-trails conversion of the old railroad grade. Harold T. "Bizz" Johnson, a former congressman (1958-1980), was instrumental in getting the 30-mile segment converted for recreational use. The trail is forever named in his honor.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joseph States

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#10438

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#774

in California

#10,438

Overall
10 Views Last Month
1,672 Since Apr 16, 2017
Easy

100%
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Photos

Fall color on Bizz Johnson Nat Rec Trail
Sep 11, 2014 near Susanville, CA
South Side SingleTrack
Sep 11, 2014 near Susanville, CA
Trail team on South Side Trail
Oct 27, 2014 near Susanville, CA
Riding with Grandma on Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail
Oct 27, 2014 near Susanville, CA
aspens
Sep 11, 2014 near Susanville, CA
Enjoying the South Side Trail
Sep 26, 2014 near Susanville, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 31 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 23, 2020
C A
In and out, starting from Westwood side. 14mi — 1h 30m
Oct 29, 2018
Ian VC
Fun easy ride for a beginner. 7.7mi
Apr 23, 2018
Tim Buddeberg
May 28, 2017
Joseph States
trail is connected from town to town 32mi
May 20, 2017
Joseph States
11mi