U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Rails to Trails Festival 2012
Susanville area residents and visitors swarmed the city’s historic railroad depot Saturday, Oct. 6, to celebrate the 20th annual Rails to Trails Festival. Events included railroad handcar racing, a popular chili cook-off, live music, and vendors offering food, beverages and regionally-produced crafts. Among the participants were competitors in the annual Bizz Johnson Marathon and associated races, held Saturday and Sunday on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.
The festival celebrates the conversion of the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Fernley and Lassen Branch into the Bizz Johnson Trail, an undertaking led by the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office beginning in the late 1970s. The Lassen Land and Trails Trust, a key partner with the BLM and Lassen National Forest in trail management and promotion, organizes and hosts the annual celebration.
The runs, including a marathon, two half-marathons, and 10K and 50K events, are organized yearly by a private organization and held under a special recreation use permit. The marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and annually attracts runners from across the country and some foreign nations. Nearly 600 runners participated in the events this year.
- Jeff Fontana, Public Affairs Officer, BLM Northern California District (October 2012)