Railroad Depot Museum
The Susanville Railroad Depot
Visitor Center, Museum & Bizz Johnson Trailhead
601 Richmond Road, Susanville, California
The Susanville Railroad Depot & Museum will be open :
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday Memorial Day—October 31st
Depot Museum and Visitor Center staff can provide you with helpful advice on a wide variety of recreation opportunities and travel planning.
This is the main trailhead and visitor center for the Bizz Johnson Rail Trail (open year around). A "not to be missed" experience awaits you on the famous Bizz Johnson Rail Trail. The Susanville Railroad Depot Visitor Center is its official trailhead. There you will find up-to-date information on biking, hiking, camping, fishing and sight seeing and much more.
The Susanville Railroad Depot Visitor Center & Museum offers up-to-date information on regional recreational activities for northeastern California. Opportunities abound as there is something for all ages with a variety of interpretive displays on the colorful cultural and natural history of the area. A bookstore and gift shop offer a variety of items. Mountain bike rentals are available by contacting The Bike Station, at 530-257-2525.
The historic Susanvillle Railroad Depot was built by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1927 and is a wonderful historical landmark. The Depot lies at the beginning of the exciting Bizz Johnson Rail Trail which extends almost to Westwood culminating at Mason Station some 26 miles away. Step back in history at the Depot where you can view historic photographs of the railroad and logging trains which rolled through Susanville. Learn about the exciting history of the Red River Lumber Company and the Fruit Growers Association (which today bears the name, Sunkist).
To "Experience the Bizz" come to the Depot! The Bizz Johnson trailhead starts at the Depot in Susanville. It follows the railroad tracks west across Richmond Road and into the Susan River Canyon. The railroad tracks end 1/4 mile west of the Depot where the trail becomes a smooth old railroad bed.
At the Depot, you can ride the 26 mile scenic Bizz Johnson Rail Trail. Travel the entire trail and when you arrive in Westwood stop by the local Westwood Museum to learn what life was like when it was a real "company" mill town. You can tour the historic Walker Mansion, restored and now providing "bed & breakfast" lodging. Be sure not to miss Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, they are also there to greet you!
The Susanville Railroad Depot is located in Susanville, California, on a 1.3-acre property acquired from Southern Pacific Transportation Company in November 1988 for $35,000. SPTC had given the building to the City of Susanville for firefighting practice. The City of Susanville chose to give the building to Lassen Land & Trails Trust which owns it at this time.
Total square footage of the existing building is approximately 2,050 square feet. The original depot was converted to a freight shed which burned in 1989. The existing structure was built in 1927.
The U.S. Forest Service has awarded two separate Challenge Cost Share Grants for renovation of the interior and exterior of the building totaling $88,584. Renovation work was conducted under a contract with Lon Fitton Design. The Grand Re-Opening of the Depot was June 4, 1994 as part of the National Trails Day celebration.
A State Habitat Conservation Fund grant for $54,000 was awarded for landscape improvements. The U.S. Forest Service provided grants totaling $23,300 for matching funds while the Trust allocated an additional $5,000 award towards the renovation project. Work has been completed with sidewalks installed, utilities under grounded, a fence and sign constructed, outdoor lighting, a paved parking lot and landscaping. The T.B. Walker Family Foundation was also integral in adding informational exhibits to the Depot.
Lassen Land & Trails Trust manages the facility under a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Lassen County Chamber of Commerce, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service. The western 3/4 of the building is used as a visitor center and museum. The facility also serves as the office and headquarters for Lassen Land & Trails Trust.
Additional Background on the Susanville Railroad Depot.....With the assistance of a $5,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Trust hired Robert Dahl to develop an Interpretive Plan for the Depot to guide future Depot projects. In 1998, with funds received from a U.S. Forest Service grant, the Trust hired Promotional Products, Inc. (PPI) to design the Depot's interpretive displays and exhibits. The project is now completed.
Lassen Land & Trails Trust and partners and invite you to Susanville. Learn the fascinating history of Lassen County and the railroad, timbering, ranching and cultural history that created it.