BIG VALLEY (BIEBER)
A fun ride departs Bieber heading north on Bieber Lookout Road for 11 miles. Turn right to Adin on County Route 87 for an 11-mile ride with few vehicles, rolling hills and magnificent mountain views, Ash Creek State Wildlife Area and cattle ranches. Adin Store is captured time of old American commerce. Fuel and water are abundantly available for the return trip. The safest route is to turn around and enjoy views that were behind you. Bicycling Highway 299 the 12 miles from Adin to Bieber requires alertness to vehicles and road surface.
Sacramento River Trail system is a series of popular, lengthy paved and unpaved bicycle trails. Most popular access is the parking lot of Turtle Bay Exhibition Park, approximately two miles off Interstate 5, Exits 678 A and B. RideRedding.com mapped routes for cyclists of all skill levels and bicycle type. A 14-mile, roundtrip, ride on Sacramento River Trails is to Old Shasta, the county’s once bustling community from 1850’s through 1880’s. The ride includes an uphill section into the town. Allow time to explore the town’s historic sites before returning to Turtle Bay Exploration Park.
FALL RIVER VALLEY
Fall River Valley is the premiere bicycle road riding area in eastern Shasta County. Burney is the mecca of fat tire or mountain biking. United States Forest Service land surrounding both areas offers fat tire bicycling.
Home of the 26th Annual Fall River Century, the valley has hundreds of paved miles with varying terrain and minimal traffic.
Highway 299 is the 10-mile main thorough-fare crossing the valley from Fall River Mills to Day Road. This primary highway has two to five-foot shoulders. A cyclist should remain vigilant as logging trucks and heavy vehicle traffic pass. Numerous side roads branch off Highway 299 offering largely unfettered access to many backroads where drivers cross into the opposite lane to pass at a safe distance.
Ride with GPS offers several routes. Dee Knoch Road is a popular, circuitous ride around the valley. The views include wide open vistas of mountains including Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak, rice fields and ranches with livestock and the ever-present open sky.
Begin the route by turning east at Fall River Hotel and ride over the Pit River. Less than two miles is the intersection of Dee Knoch Road and Fall River-Cassel Road. You have two choices – the 18-mile Dee Knoch Road route or 25 miles of challenging roundtrip to Cassel. Contemplate your choice while watching Fall River flow into the Pit River and listen to wildlife at the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) rest stop. This is a must see! Riding to Cassel is six-miles uphill then six-miles downhill. Roundtrip is 12 miles pedaling vertical road. Good news, the last six-mile leg is downhill to the rest stop. Then only a short uphill return to the Fall River Hotel.
If you choose Dee Knock Road, cycle to the intersection of Jim Day Road, turn right to Pittville Road, left to Highway 299 through McArthur continuing to Fall River Mills and the hotel. At intersections stop and look at road signs for proper routes on this largely flat ride. Near the end of Dee Knoch Road is a five-mile roller coaster ride to accelerate your heart rate.
An even flatter 12-mile extension is via Glenburn Road. In McArthur turn right onto the same named road to Glenburn. At the 132-year-old Glenburn Church look inside at the beautiful, historic sanctuary. A quarter mile past the church, turn left onto Glenburn Road and continue to Fall River Mills and the hotel. This 12-mile ride has the valley’s best views of mountains, rivers, rice fields and abundant waterfowl.
See the farming/ranching lifestyle as you pass hundreds of acres of farms with cows, fishing aficionados along Fall River and iconic photographic sites.
Additional scenic rides are Island Road and Creighton Road, Ted Elder Road and McArthur Road to Highway 89. The last four miles are vertically challenging and guaranteed to raise your heart rate. One section is an estimated 10-degree pitch.
Fall River Century has mapped valley routes at www.fallrivercentury.com.
SACRAMENTO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE CENTER
Wildlife and wildflowers are abundant in Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex just off Interstate 5 about eight miles south of Willows. Cycling on gravel roads, you’re lost in a world listening to Mother Nature’s ambient sounds. While sharing the road with vehicles, the cyclist enjoys the experience largely unfettered by engine driven vehicles. Located at the opposite end of the refuge is an observation platform offering extended views and sounds of surrounding area. Your heart will bounce and your eyes bulge photographing migrating wildlife that varies by season. www.fws.gov/refuge/sacramento
Our Favorite Rides
GREAT SHASTA RAIL TRAIL
The newest entry into off-road bicycling is Great Shasta Rail Trail (GSRT) the red cinder, former railbed from Burney to Pilgrim Creek, near McCloud. The trail is restricted to non-motorized recreation - bicycling, running, walking, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing in winter and equestrian rides.
About fifty miles of the trail are open, primarily on the northern line. Six miles east of McCloud, access the trail at Pilgrim Creek and ride over rolling terrain 13 miles to Bartle, a former bustling community. Heading further east, the mountain biker makes a left turn and begins an uphill climb to Hambone, 13.3 miles.
Winter storms washed out trail sections between Highway 89 near Bartle to Clark Creek Road. Planned for opening in 2017, this trail section remains closed indefinitely, pending culvert replacement and trail repairs. Sections are extremely hazardous.
On the southern end, the trail is open north of Burney to Lake Britton Bridge, featured in the 1986 movie “Stand By Me.” Trail head is on Black Ranch Road across from Pacific Gas and Electric office.
Trail intersects Carlton Enterprises about one mile from the trailhead. In October and November, the company decorates commercial Christmas Trees, including the Union Square tree in San Francisco.
When riding off road on Forest Service property and GSRT, prepare for wilderness conditions. Carry extra food and water and pack out all trash. Food and water is available in trailhead communities. Near GSRT, Bartle Café hours are seasonal.
Wide tire bicycles are recommended for GSRT.
Difficulty Rating System
Fall River 25
25.0 mi +513 ft / -513 ft
McArthur Rd. Mtn.
This great 17 mile route is mostly flat with a 820 foot climb from Dana to HWY 89. 1:45 hours one way, faster on the way back.
Six Mile Hill
25-mile, round trip training ride between Cassel or Fall River Mills on Cassel-Fall River Road, Forest Route 7R02. Six miles uphill leads to a six-mile downhill, both directions. Route is rolling hills with steep climbs and elevation gain of 1,752.67 feet, maximum 3,902.3 feet.
Fall River Century
98.9 mi +4123 ft / -4124 ft
64.9 mi +2539 ft / -2540 ft
127.6 mi +5482 ft / -5482 ft