Running west from Susanville, the 30 mile Bizz Johnson Trail National Recreation Trail parallels the Susan River in northeastern California through the Eagle Lake Resource Area. Following the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the trail winds 25.4 miles from Susanville to Mason Station. The trail then follows existing roads for an additional 4.5 miles into Westwood where a railroad station type kiosk and a 25-foot carved redwood statue of Paul Bunyan mark the Westwood trailhead. Most of the trail traverses the rugged Susan River Canyon with beautiful views of the surrounding Sierras and reminders of the railroad and logging days of the past.
Directions to Susanville Trailhead: Take Highway 395 North about 85 miles until it turns toward Alturas. Continue straight on the main roadway (which becomes Highway 36) into Susanville. Follow Main Street to the stop light at the bottom of the hill by Historic Uptown Susanville. Turn left on Weatherlow Street (which becomes Richmond Road) and follow 1/2 mile across Susan River to Susanville Railroad Depot Trailhead.
Following the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad, the trail winds 25.4 miles from Susanville to Mason Station. For the first 16 miles, 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 passes through two tunnels. The landscape is a combination of semi-arid canyon and upland forests of pine and fir.
The trail then follows existing roads an additional 4.5 miles into Westwood, where a railroad station type kiosk and a 25-foot carved redwood statue of Paul Bunyan mark the Westwood trailhead.
SHUTTLES FOR BIKERS AND HIKERS
A bus that will carry bikes runs between Susanville and Westwood Monday through Friday. For current schedule and bus stops, call Lassen Rural Bus at (530) 257-5697. On weekends or at times not served by the bus, you may be able to arrange for a van shuttle. Call Mt. Lassen Cab and Shuttle Service at (530) 257-5277.
Overall, Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail is the 24th most popular hiking trail of all 88 hikes in California.