Tuesday, October 7, 2014

There's 65 Miles of Trails in Susanville, CA!

Three nights in Susanville, CA allowed us to do a quick exploration of the area. By the time we left we learned there are 65 miles of trails right from town! We only managed to hike and bike a small fraction of that on this stay, there is definitely more to explore next time around.

First off, a 7.5 mile hike at Susanville Ranch Park. This park has 27 miles of single track trails used by hikers, bikers and horses. Meadows, creeks, mountains, forests of pine and oak, vistas...this park has it all!

Nice views from the North section of Susanville Ranch Park.

Meadows and creeks are features of the South section of the park.
Hans stretches to pick apples that turned out to be very hard and tart.

On our second day in the area we rode the East portion of the Bizz Johnson Trail. We rode the West half of this Rails to Trails trail back in June when we stayed near Lake Almanor (you can read the post here). This time we were even able to ride directly from our RV park for a 20 mile round trip ride.

From Susanville RV Park you can access a paved river trail right behind the Safeway, just two blocks from the RV park. Take the river trail West, then a few blocks of surface streets to the old railroad depot and the start of the Bizz Johnson Trail. Google Maps will show you the way...

East terminus of the Bizz Johnson Trail in Susanville.

We really enjoyed the seven miles we rode of the Bizz Johnson Trail this time around. The Susanville segment has two tunnels, several bridges, lave rock walled canyon and the very pretty Susan River...PLUS we happened to hit the very beginning of fall color change...in a couple of weeks the whole river canyon should be ablaze with vibrant color.

Heading in to the first tunnel.

Hans got this cool shot of me in the tunnel!

Fantastic lava walls towered over us in places.

The Susan River seemed to have about the same amount of water as it did in June.

There is a small museum at the old depot building near the Susanville trailhead. We saw photos of the river flowing high with kayakers and happy fishermen, though looking at the river bed now it seems the river hasn't flowed that high in a very long time. I sure hope they have a wet and snowy winter this year. In fact, the Bizz Johnson Trail is open for cross country skiing in the winter!

Another highlight of our stay in Susanville was reconnecting with Amy and Rod of Go Pet Friendly fame. We hadn't seen these two, and their dogs Buster and Ty, since May 2013 so it was good to catch up over dinner one evening. We look forward to reconnecting in February in Austin, TX.

Our last evening we went into town for a short walk and dinner. In just a few short blocks we saw at least a dozen deer! We got such a kick out of this, but I bet the locals don't love it so much!

There are 5 deer in this photo...Brazen aren't they?!??!!

Downtown Susanville is pretty spread out and has seemed very calm and quiet every time we've driven through. There are quite a few murals on buildings, though we didn't walk around to view them all. Dinner at Lassen Ale Works was delicious!

Susanville RV Park is the only full hookup RV park in town and was a decent place to stay. It's got concrete pads and a little bit of grass between sites and a few trees. It's set far enough off the highway to be nice and quiet, with a clean laundry room and has good 4G Verizon signal.

Site 63.

We'll spend the next couple of nights in Reno taking care of some business, then we're off into the Eastern Sierra along highway 395.


  1. I loved that Bizz Johnson Trail! AND the Lassen Ale Works! Fun to relive my time there through your photos. Though only 6 months ago, it seems like ages since I was there! Nice to see it in autumn colors. It sounds like you are bypassing Lassen NP, though? Since the road was closed while I was there, I was hoping to live vicariously. ;-) But it may be too late in the year already. If you stop in Carson City, have some Pho for me!!

    1. We did Lassen NP in June and LOVED it!

      The fish tacos at Lassen Ale Works were soooo good!

  2. Had no idea there was so much to see in Susanville. Since this is a common drive-though area for us, this is great info!

  3. Although still low, it's a little encouraging that the water is the same as in June :-) I'm loving the Rails to Trails as our recumbent trikes limit us to wider trails. That tunnel shot of you is very "other-wordly", and very cool! The colors in the leaves are wonderful, so wish we were having Fall here :-( A few deer in the front yard would be nice too (as long as they weren't too hungry)

  4. What a pretty place. Love your fall color photos!

  5. I remembered stopping by here and stayed at the same park but did not know they have lots of trails! I know we biked there but can't recall if we did the same trail you did. I think your drive to Reno on 89 will already have fall foliage and cows.

  6. We really like the Bizz Johnson trail, too. Susanville is a frequent stopover for us as we make our way cross-country from Ashland. We stay at Merill Campground at Eagle Lake, about 15 miles out of Susanville. Not as convenient to town, but beautiful and peaceful. The one time we stayed at Susanville RV park the security lights at night were just awful, even with our day/night shades. Did the lights bother you?

    1. We had no problem with lights in our site. We did like the convenience of this park.

    2. Oh, you're in my part of the country and I love it! The sierras are so beautiful! I spent many summers at Merrill Campground at Eagle Lake that Lauren mentioned. The trails and views are great! Bonus the fall color. And the area along 395 can't be beat! We'll be back next summer and might do our first work camp. I'll look forward to your posts and hikes!

  7. Really looks like a nice park and a great town. With 65 miles of trails and a bike trail you can get to right in town it seems like my kind of place. Susan sure got herself a nice river and a cool town.

  8. I can't believe the deer was on the porch! I think that's pretty cool, but am guessing the homeowner does not think that!
    It's nice to see some fall colors in your photos...enjoy!

  9. What a neat little town! I love that there is so much hiking and biking right there. Don't you love when you can bike around the area! Sounds like you accomplished a lot during your short stay. Thanks for the great information.

  10. It was great seeing Susanville in the fall. We loved biking the Bizz Johnson trail, especially the tunnels.