The Dixie Chicks song, “Wide Open Spaces” is the first thing that comes to mind, looking out over the incredible expanse of land along the Modoc Line. Originally a railway, this trail runs an incredible 86 miles.
Open year-round for motorized and non-motorized fun alike, there is so much you can do at the Modoc Line. In the summer, you can bring the 4-wheelers, bikes, and OHVs. In the winter, try cross-country skiing or, you guessed it, snowmobiling.
Good luck exploring the whole trail, because unless you camp for a few days, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to enjoy the entire Modoc Line. If you do decide to stick around awhile, you may see some Pronghorn running alongside the trail.
The trail is run by the Bureau of Land Management. Union Pacific purchased the rail run by Southern Pacific, in 1996, but work began on taking it apart just nine years later, for the development of a recreational trail. There are some rough areas on the trail and weather is unpredictable in some areas, so be cautious and come prepared.
The Modoc Line is still being developed, so some areas are not finished and there are no formal trailheads as of yet. So users are allowed to explore at their own risk. The views are amazing and the amount of rural land over 86 miles of California is impressive, for this largely populated state.
To get there from Susanville, travel east on US 395 and take the turn onto Wendel Road. There are signs that will lead you to Honey Lake. Once you cross the old railroad berm, you can get out and start snowmobiling, or you can go to Wendel and park by Amedee Road and Antola Road. Enjoy your long escape from the crowds on the Modoc Line.