This was a good ride. I used the alternate start which is at the very bottom of the trail and rode counter clockwise. It starts you out crossing a creek right away and then there's a pretty rough climb. It gets much easier after that.
Most of the rest of the ride is smooth. There's a lot of old logging roads which were packed gravel back in the day. It makes the downs fast and the ups very rideable.
As you go out on the little tail at the NW corner of the trail, I recommend hitting the forest road rather than trying to climb the last little bit. Two reasons for this. One, there's an overlook you'll pass on your left if you climb up for the forest road that's amazing. That and Fort Mountain are the best views I've seen in all of Georgia. Secondly, it's a pretty rough climb uphill. I ride the forest road to the very top (the main parking area) and then take the trail back down. The last 4 miles or so from the main parking area to the alternate start are literally all downhill.
The trail coming down from the main parking area back to the logging road are really the only technical areas of the trail. Everything else is a pretty easy ride from a technical standpoint.
I'm a weekend warrior who tries to get out and do something of this caliber every 2-4 weeks and I try to enjoy doing it. I stop for the scenery and enjoy taking it all in. It took about 2 hours.
I've already been back and ridden this train again. The downhill at the end and the amazing views at the top make the initial climb well worth it.