December 23, 2006
This is a good trail for new riders to start out on, but it is a bit more challenging than other local rides like Lake Fayetteville. Much of the trail is gravelly with large cobblestones, making it fairly bumpy. When the leaves fall, the leaf litter can make traction difficult, so have some good knobbies. Newbies may find themselves walking a lot of the hills until they grow in strength, endurance, and technical skill. The second half of the trail is a bit easier in terms of surface conditions, but there are a few good climbs and a section of singletrack over a steep hill into the stream. It's not too bad for beginners, but when in doubt - walk. The "gravity cavity" can look intimidating, especially since there's a rock you have to navigate around as you drop into it, but once you get the guts to do it it's a fun highlight on the path. There are some shaley areas near the walk-in campground that look like the path is wet and slick, but it's just the sun shining off of the shale. Definitely get a map. There are a couple of places where the trail splits and it can get confusing. The park service's website has a map, but it's not very good. There are other sites out there where you can get a map if you search in Google and aren't wanting to pay for membership here. If you're not good at following your nose, it would be best to ride with a group the first couple of times.