Swasey Recreation Area
#1 For a Reason
Once you hit the dirt at Swasey Recreation Area, you’ll quickly realize why it’s the most popular riding destination for locals and visitors alike. A short 10-minute drive from downtown Redding gets you to the main parking lot at Swasey Recreation Area. Originally designated by the Bureau of Land Management as an area of high value due to its abundance of historic and prehistoric archeological sites, the miles and miles of trails that have been carved out over the past 20 years have created one of the best trail networks in the nation. The abundance and diversity of the trails at Swasey alone offer enough options for multiple days of riding. Combine that with the ability to connect into the vast system of trails in Whiskeytown National Recreation area, and your options become endless.
Princess Ditch Trail
More Flow, Less Slow
The crown jewel of Swasey Recreation Area, the 1.5-mile Snail Trail rivals the best flow trails in the world! With sweeping berms and seemingly perfect flow, you will find yourself questioning its name, because the last thing you will be doing is going as slow as a snail. Combine this trail with the Mule Mt. Summit trail for a Strava segment called “The Best Damn Downhill in NorCal.”
Just Gonna Send It
The Enticer trail changed the landscape of mountain biking in Redding, literally and figuratively. Covered with table tops, gap jumps, step-ups, step-downs and neverending stacked berms, trails like this don’t normally exist outside of bike park resorts. But don’t let that intimidate you. With progression in mind when the trail was designed, this trail is appropriate for both intermediate and advanced riders. Thanks to the efforts of Redding Trail Alliance, you can expect the trail to be in pristine condition for your shredding pleasure.
8 miles from the 1800’s
Named after the construction company that built the original ditch in the late 1800s for mining purposes, the 8-mile Princess Ditch Trail takes its users through some of the more scenic areas of Swasey Recreation area. With a wider tread and mellower grades, this trail is great for beginners and intermediate users alike. For those that don’t mind putting in the miles, you can take this trail all the way into Whiskeytown Recreation Area, where it can easily be linked into some of the more rugged trails that the park has to offer. During the springtime, this trail exposes its travelers to wonderful views of wildflowers and babbling seasonal streams.
Going Up or Going Down
The heart of the Swasey Trail System, the Escalator trail, just like the moving stairs it’s named after, gets you to the top of the hill with relative ease. Even though most people use this 3-mile trail to access some of the more exciting trails, such as the Snail Trail or Terminator, the Escalator is a two way trail and makes for a great downhill option for less experienced riders. Just make sure you remember that it’s a two way multi-use trail, and always treat other trail users with respect.