Fisherman's Trail is a relatively short, easy hike around part of the Keswick Reservoir, which was formed by a dam that closed off the Sacramento River near Rock Creek. The trail forms a loop with the Sacramento River Trail, or it can be hiked as an out-and back on its own, with access on the west end of the Keswick Dam, where there is parking. Easy to follow and navigate, the narrow dirt trail features some craggy rocks to climb over or around from time to time, and there's one substantial hill to challenge your body and Fido's stamina. A good deal of the trail is shaded, and the frequent wind keeps you cool in the summer.
Surrounded by wildflowers in the spring, and harvestable blackberries in summer, you're also treated to views of old growth pines and shrubby undergrowth, undulating hills that end at the reservoir's edge, and small waterfalls that are especially noticeable in the winter after a soaking rain. In the distance Lassen Volcano rises above the horizon to provide a beautiful backdrop. Birds are abundant here, particularly during migrating season, and the environs are home to lizards, small mammals, bullfrogs and other denizens that will scuttle or hop into view occasionally.
If you decide to join your Fisherman's Trail hike with the Sacramento River Trail, you'll follow along with the river southward to the Keswick Dam where you started. The paved road trail accommodates touring bikes and mountain bikes, so be sure to keep yourself and Fido to the right side to allow them to pass unhindered. You may see deer and other large mammals at the riverside, along with eagles and hawks soaring above, and waterfowl wading in the shallows.
Redding and the Shasta Region of Northern California boast many miles of trails, but the Fisherman's Trail is one of the oldest continuous use trails in the state. When you give it a try, you'll see why, and you'll want to come back again and again.
Poison oak grows along this trail, and in some places even encroaches on the path. To avoid coming into contact with this unpleasant vine, stay to the path and wear long pants. Also be aware of protruding stones on the trail to avoid being tripped up by them. If you hike after sundown, wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight.