By Melissa Wynn
Summer fun around Susanville means hiking the miles of scenic nearby trails. Susanville Ranch Park is a local favorite offering 22 miles of non-motorized, multi-use trails with spectacular meadow and valley views. The park’s southern portion winds around the meadows and up Paiute Creek Canyon on a gentle grade with a more challenging climb on Coyote Bluff. Wide open spaces and 2 creeks make this a great choice for families with children and pets. More experienced hikers seem to prefer the 14 miles of many loop options, challenging climbs and back turns of the northern section. Susanville Ranch Park is an awesome hiking, biking and horseback riding choice for all ages.
If you prefer a shadier hike through the woods, then The Bizz Johnson Trail is for you. 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 stunning upland forests. The”Bizz” then follows existing roads an additional 4.5 miles into Westwood, a truly beautiful mountain stroll all are invited to enjoy. Come join us on these fun, scenic hikes of Susanville.
Hiking can work up quite an appetite but fear not, Susanville has several dining choices to fill the void. Diamond Mountain Casino at 900 Skyline Dr. is one of my favorite spots for good eats. Whether I’m looking for a good quick sandwich and fries lunch at a reasonable price or a fancy, juicy steak dinner with a hot date, between the open friendly coffee shop and Sports Bar and Grill they’ve got it covered. Just like in Chester Happy Garden at 1960 Main Street is my choice for Chinese, the crab and cheese wontons keep me coming back time and time again.
Tired from the hike and stuffed full with dinner many choose to spend a comfortable night in a jacuzzi suite at the Best Western Trailside Inn at 2785 Main St. Nothing like a long soak to relax the body and soothe the mind. A free continental breakfast in the morning will have you fueled up for a busy day of world class fishing at scenic Eagle Lake just North of Susanville.
At the beginning of the summer in 2009, I really wanted to go fishing to complete my dream of catching my biggest fish. Without any fishing experience at all, I knew that I really needed some help. I had heard that one of my old High School buddies, Dick Mason, had a Guide Service and that he consistently caught big fish. I called Dick and told him what I had in mind and he said that he liked to fish Eagle Lake in the Spring, Lake Almanor in the Fall, and Lake Shasta in the Winter. I said sign me up!
My first trip was to Eagle Lake and there were three of us. We left early in the morning and launched the boat and started fishing about dawn. Dick showed me what pole to use, what bait was hot, how much line to let out, and how to “play the fish” and net them once they got to the boat. We caught our limit and we headed home about noon. We went to Dick’s house and cleaned the fish and relived our victorious day. Bob Hertzig
Eagle Lake offers several camping options for tents and RVs as well as a wide variety of vacation rental homes and cabins. Whether you prefer the sleeping bag or a fluffy bed Eagle Lake has your kind of place to rest your weary head.
Hikers bikers and fisherman seeking outdoor adventure search no more, point that RV toward Susanville and come join the fun.
Facts courtesy of susanvilleranchpark.com and blm.gov