Route: Bizz Johnson Trail (CA)

Submitted by Jason Hardrath… on Mon, 04/27/2020 - 07:06pm
California, US
25.6 mi

Submitted by Ashly Winchester and Jason Hardrath:

A bit of History:
As described on the BLM Website, the Bizz Johnson Trail follows the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad, the trail winds 25.4 miles from Susanville, California 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. Most of the trail traverses the Susan River Canyon with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and reminders of the railroad and logging days of the past. The remarkable autumn colors and scenery along the Bizz Johnson Trail earned it one of eight feature spots on the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy's 1997 "Fall Foliage on the Web" rail-trails guide.

Regarding the Bizz Johnson Marathon and 50k:
The intrepid researcher will find that the Bizz Johnson Marathon runs *nearly* all of this trail, but the race courses turn off at Hobo Camp instead of finishing through the Depot, so those times do not apply to this FKT.
You can see the official course map here:

[Note that as of 2020 the Marathon CRs are 2h29m43s (M), and 2h46m35s (F).]

This FKT is for the non-motorized, rails-to-trails section of the Bizz Johnson Trail that stretches from the “Mason Station” near Westwood, CA along 25.4 miles to the old Susanville Depot. It can be done as a one way trip or out and back. As always, you can choose which side to start on.

An argument could be made for seperate FKT to be established including the 4.5 miles of county Hwy A21 to connect Westwood that is shown in this map ( But since most descriptions of the trail (alltrails, BLM site description, trip reports on various blogs) indicate that most enthusiasts opt to take only the “true” rails-to-trails section, we chose to establish it in the same fashion.


GPS Track


This is a race (a marathon+ other distances). The marathon course records are 2:29 Trevor Palmer (2015) & 2:46 Heather Furh (07).  The races are put in by Coastal Trail Runs.