Lots of climbing and fast, flowing descents. There are two trailheads: the northern, public parking area on Buffalo Creek Road and a southern parking area inside the Rumbling Bald Resort. These are connected by a 1/3 mile flat pathway that follows Buffalo Creek. Midway between is a bridge and the start of the trail.
After a short distance, the trail crosses a small footbridge and reaches a fork that starts and finishes the loop. From here, riders will travel in the opposite direction of those on foot. A sign indicates the directions which reverse daily.
In either direction, the trail has three sections: The Head, the Heart and the Tail (HHT). After a brief warmup, a stout climb gets you 500 feet up the mountain, but intermediate descents mean you earn about 1,000 feet of total climbing. Then there's a smooth traverse in the middle section that takes you through a large boulder field that attracts climbers and the rare Green Salamander. You then finish with a fast, flowing descent on banked switchbacks. The trail has an average grade of 9%, with short sections of 15%-20%. This loop is the first phase--another 7-10 miles of backcountry trail will be implemented in 2014-2015.