Redding Atv Trails and Maps

17 Reviews

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Recent Trail Reviews

Great Shasta Rail Trail

Great trail- but be careful!

September, 2018 by 777horsegir

Beautiful trees on the trail. The area is beautiful. After about 1.5-2 miles on the trail, there is a bridge over a creek and that is so gorgeous!

But a couple of things to beware of. 1- there are no signs on the side of the road so when you turn off the 89 it is 1 mile- so just pay attention to the mileage. You do see the red cinders and the trail going up the road, so that helps to ID the trail. Also not a lot of places to park.

The biggest issue was the red cinder substrate. It was very loose and thick so not only is it tough to steer in but, pulls your bicycle tires so it is tough to ride. The shoulders are VERY LOOSE (substrate) and the center of the trail road is also higher and loose so tough to cross over it from side to side. After about 2 miles on the trail there was a hard packed dirt road so we left the trail and followed the dirt road which was so much easier to steer and ride on.

We will not be back. Maybe once the substrate gets rained on and is more compact it might be better but we almost wrecked on our bicycles several times and my husband has a fat bike (so the tires are bigger - more like a motorcycle) and I have mountain bike tires and so they both should have been ok in the substrate but it was tough!

Blue Gravel Mine Trail

it's a good trail... it has super big steep hills.

July, 2018 by jimbobweg

it's a good trail... it has super big steep hills.

Sacramento River Trail


June, 2017 by danomccollam

My wife and I did this loop on two different occassions while visiting Redding. We had no trouble finding the trail head or sticking on the trail. The scenery as you head toward the damn is absolutely gorgeous--large boulders, spring flowers, and the beautiful blue and green colors of the fountain head of the Sacramento river.

The trail on one side of the river is almost totally flat, while the trail on the other side is a roller coaster of short up and downhill climbs. There are several creeks you cross and plenty of benches to stop and enjoy the scenery. There are even some public restrooms.

I'm sure we will do this trail on every visit to Redding.


Sacramento River Trail

An ok Trail

June, 2015 by mjerabek

This is a well maintained trail, but very confusing for visitors. The route is through various parks, parking lots, senior centers and private neighborhoods. However, there is a total lack of directional signs. Even a simple sign with a directional arrow would be sufficient. The trail on the north side is hilly, but the trail on the south side is more of a converted rail bed. We rode the trail on a Friday and it was very busy.

Sacramento River Trail

Beautiful trail!!!!!

May, 2015 by fiyero

Short but sweet! Immaculate paved bike trail with amazing views of the Sac River! We will be back!

Sacramento River Trail

Nice loop ride

December, 2014 by trail53link

Rode every mile on TrailLink's map of this trail. Great scenery and excellent trail surface. I recommend the Middle Creek spur as well. The east side of the river is not really a rail type trail. It's a roller coaster ride but lots of fun to do coming downstream.

Sacramento River Rail Trail

Great trail.

December, 2014 by trail53link

Rode the entire route yesterday. The only downside was the first two miles from Keswick Dam. It's not a typical gradual rail grade. Great scenery, great surface, and no traffic noise. At one point I just stopped to enjoy the silence.

I recommend pushing up the switchback road between the north end of the trail to Shasta Dam. They offer great views and tours of the dam. You can actually ride across the top of the dam, unlike the dams in Washington State.

Sacramento River Rail Trail

Wow! How did I not know about this?

May, 2014 by lstrom2

Departed from Keswick Dam parking area this morning. The first 1/2 mile is seriously steep, immediately, but after a mile or two of some good ups and downs, it is pretty close to flat along the water all the way to the campground below Shasta Dam.

The trail is paved and in excellent condition, just fine for my road bike; could have used the hill climbing gears on my mountain bike in a couple of spots near the beginning. Beautiful ride. Take water. Vault toilets at both ends, in remarkably clean condition for that type of facility. I will go back, maybe kyak, too, next time.

Sacramento River Rail Trail

Redding to Shasta

May, 2013 by mkoyama

We started this ride from the Sundial Bridge in Redding which added another 8 miles each way. At the Shasta campgrounds destination, we decided to ride up to Shasta Dam. A moderately steep 2 to 3 miles uphill, but the view from the dam and the ride back was worth it.

Road surface was excellent all the way through, and crowd traffic was reasonable. Very nice views of the river and lake. Bring lots of water and imagine that it can be hot in the summer.

If you're inclined to start from the Sundial Bridge, the bike trail on the south side of the river has less foot traffic which makes riding more pleasurable. Total of about 44 miles.

Clover Creek Preserve Trail

Clover Creek Preserve

April, 2012 by live to ride

I saw the Clover Creek Preserve on The Rail To Trails web site. Coming up from Red Bluff about 28 Miles to see it and I was not disappointed. The preserve itself is a 123 acre site that has a 400 acre feet check site for a 100 years flood to protect the homes down stream. There are several different paths, with the main one around the rim being paved. The parking area is where a road was going go through, and now a very large parking area. It seem to be very popular with neighborhood as there was quit a few bicyclist, runner, walker, and people out for the day. The only drawback is that there is no shade, as its an open area. I found it was fun to take my adult trike and ride to my heart content. In the Redding area, its one of the little hidden gems.

If you are coming up Interstate five, take the exit onto South Bonnyview/ Chun Creek Road and take a right, go straight , pass the Standard Station until you see a road going up a hill, and flow that road as it goes up (Rancho Road) until you see a sign on the right saying “Shasta View Road” or you see a stone wall on the left. Turn before the stone wall and follow the road until you see a parking lot at a stop sign on you right.

Sacramento River Rail Trail

Update to the sacramento River Rail Trail.

August, 2011 by 1d13bb

As of early 2011, the Sacramento River Rail Trail is completely paved. So now you can ride on pavement from Redding at the Sun Dial Bridge to Shasta dam.

Sacramento River Rail Trail

TRAILBEAR HEADS TO THE DAM - The Sacramento River Rail Trail

October, 2010 by trailbear

TRAILBEAR HEADS TO THE DAM - The Sacramento River Rail Trail



Redding has enough good trails - paved, dirt, mountain bike - to be something of a destination. TrailBear spent two days there riding the paved river trails.

You can ride from Turtle Bay, down in Redding, up to Shasta Dam. Better yet, most of the ride is on good blacktop. You do this by taking the Sacramento River Trail up to the Keswick Dam. There you will find a trailhead for the Sacramento River Rail Trail. The SRRT will take you up river to the Shasta/Chappie ORV area below the dam. This is a scenic reservoir ride.

The SRRT comes in two parts. The lower portion (2.8 miles) is called the Lower Rail Trail. It is a twisty, turney, up and down connector trail and certainly not a real rail trail. No train could make those curves. Hard enough on a bike with any sort of speed. Probably a real challenge in a wheelchair or on in-line skates.

The true rail trail (a mild uphill grade) begins at the Rock Creek Road Trailhead and heads up to the Shatsa/Chappie ORV Area below Shasta Dam. It is 8.3 miles long and paved up to the former Matheson Ore Transfer Station. The lower trail joins it about .25 miles out of Rock Creek trailhead.

It uses the old Southern Pacific right of way. From Matheson to the end, you are on gravel. Once past Matheson the gravel is hard packed. The upper trail end is at the locked trail gate at the Shasta Dam. A sign notes that they intend to pave the section from Matheson to Shasta Dam in October 2010. Stay tuned. When done, the Sacramento River Trail and the River Rail Trail will make an outstanding ride. Want some dirt - check out the other trails on the east side of the reservoir. Lots of riding in these hills.







This is the start of the Sacramento River Rail Trail. This section is called the Lower Rail Trail (2.8 mi). It will intersect the real rail trail up at Spring Creek. What an innocent name! A more accurate name might be Heart Rate Trail. It is probably the most interesting section to ride – but you work for it.

Start at the new trailhead at the base of what they call Heart Rate Hill. Apt name, that. If you time your ascent and measure your pulse at the upper sign, you can determine fitness. By that point, you probably knew: Could be better. If you cycle the Lower Rail Trail every other day for a month or two, you will be much fitter. It twists. It turns. It climbs. It descends. It repeats all the previous as it climbs up each ridge, descends the other side, crosses the creek and climbs again.

The last water in 11+ miles is across the street at the trailhead. Drink up. Fill up. The Lower Rail Trail just might use the water ration for a ten mile leg. When you are sloshing about, head up Heart Rate Hill. There is a nice overlook above on a spur trail.

In the first 0.68 miles from the parking lot you gain 240’. At that point, if you look left, there is a marker on the other side: SLOW: Steep Descent. Really? Really!

TB would have loved a nice screaming descent, but had to ride the brakes to keep things under 15 mph: Hairpin turns. They are not banked for 30 mph or even close to it. Try that and you will be off the trail and in the brush. He clocked 25.5 on one drop where he could see the uphill leg and the curve was not a hairpin. TrailBear loves his full set of hydraulic brakes. They actually stop him - in time, not in the brush.

What is needed is a crew of mountain bike riders to bank the turns or build so you can ride the wall on the downhill curves. Slingshot around some of those hairpins and you will be half way up the next ascent before you notice. In the first 2.5 miles, TB measured 242’ descent and 379’ of ascent. Not a bench to be seen once you leave the overlook at the trailhead.

@@@ RAIL TRAIL JUNCTION, GE: 40.628131 -122.466335

That last long climb along Spring Creek put you on the junction with the real Sacramento River Rail Trail. The rest of the trail will be gradual rail trail inclines. Take a look at the Iron Mountain Mine remediation works – the Spring Creek Debris Dam and the plant. The mine is a superfund site.

Rain water on iron pyrites = sulfuric acid. That dam up there is part of the effort to control the acid wastes. The plant just below the trail removes heavy metals from the waste water. Notice that Spring Creek does not look very healthy.


Now you can head up the Shasta River (Keswick Reservoir now) on the right of way built in 1883 by the Central Pacific Railroad. By 1888 you could take an express from Oakland and be in Portland in 36 hours.

@@@ KESWICK BOAT RAMP, GE: 40.632349 -122.452793

Another trailhead option is at the Keswick Boat Ramp on the other side of Spring Creek. You will find an info kiosk, parking and vault toilet. From here the next stop is the end of the pavement at Matheson, about four miles up the reservoir.

@@@ MATHESON, GE: 40.664135 -122.460971

At Matheson the ore from the Iron Mountain Mine was transferred to rail cars. Now it is a staging area for the ORV area and accessible off the Iron Mountain Rd. The trail surface here is somewhat loose and the rock large. At the trail gate beyond Matheson the surface turns to a hard backed 3/8- gravel – good riding. This lasts up to Motion Creek, then turns to larger gravel, but still not a bad ride. (Note: TrailBear is on a FS mountain bike. No roadies were seen beyond the end of the blacktop at Matheson.)

@@@ MOTION CREEK, GE: 40.685720 -122.450870

Are they using enough culvert at the embankment across Motion Creek? Check the photo. Word from a local bikie was that they had a used bridge lined up from a south county road project – but when they picked it up, it fell apart. Whoops. Motion Creek, unlike all the other stream crossings, had water in it. Come the winter rains, there is probably serious water in it.

@@@ THE TUNNEL, GE: 40.693863 -122.450043

The only tunnel on the trail is about 0.7 miles above Motion Creek Crossing. It was built in the 1880s and lined with concrete in 1923. It curves, but it is short enough that there is enough light to see by. No headlights are needed. There is a bypass trail along the toe of the ridge, but who would want that? Tunnels are fun.

@@@ TRAIL END AT SHASTA DAM TRAILHEAD, GE: 40.709190 -122.442390

The end of the rail trail is at the locked trail gate at the bottom of the Shasta/Chappie ORV area below Shasta Dam. Here you will find ample parking, a vault toilet and information kiosk. The kiosks on the trail are a nice pattern with bench seating below that overhead cover.

If you head up the road into Shasta Campground, you will find water, trash and additional vault toilets. This is the only water on the upper trail. You can refill for the trip back down.
The ORV staging area also features a large covered shelter with concrete benches (and one picnic table). This could be handy when one of the frequent local thunderstorms catches you out. Commonly, ORV areas have good facilities.

If you want to stage out of this end, you need to cross Shasta Dam. The hours (10/2010) are 6 AM to 10 PM. Have your driver’s license handy for the guards. They will probably take a look to see if you are stuffed with C4 or ANFO to make Jihad on the dam. If you are worthy, the crash barriers will be lowered for you. We camped here one night – the only folks there aside from the host. Come summer or a weekend, bring ear plugs.

Ride on!

Riding his brakes around the bends

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