What Is It?
More than 25 miles of no longer used rail line in northeast California were converted into the Bizz Johnson Recreation Trail stretching from Susanville to Westwood. The trail goes through tunnels and over tresses, giving great views of the forest it cuts through.
Starting the Race
The trail was once the Fernley and Lassen Railroad line, established in 1914 and used to transport lumber. The mill the line supported closed in 1956, and Southern Pacific Railroad was allowed to discontinue use of the line in 1978. The Bureau of Land Management oversaw the trail conversion, and it was named after Harold T. Bizz Johnson, a state representative who fought for the project.
The trail has a 3% grade, making it comfortable for hikes, bike rides and other activities. Starting in Westwood, the trail goes through forest for 4.5 miles before going through the Susan River Canyon for most of the remaining distance. In the winter, snowfall makes the trail a great spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Rails to Trails
Each October, Lassen Land and Trails Trust hosts the Rails to Trails Festival at the railroad depot near the Susanville trailhead. The event raises funds to maintain local trails and includes food, live music and activities such as railroad handcar races.
To plan your trip, visit lassenlandandtrailstrust.org/bizz-johnson-trail or call 530-257-3252. Information on the Rails to Trails Festival can be found at lassenlandandtrailstrust.org/rails-to-trails.