I am NOT an experienced hiker - in face, this was my first hike since I was a teenager more than 30 years ago. I can't tell you how this hike compares to others. I CAN tell you I had so much fun last weekend that I'm going back today, and again later this week. If you start at JSOL, the first 1.25 - 1.5 miles are mostly downhill, and mostly single file dirt trails. It levels out near a stream and you go past a prairie section before heading uphill slightly for the next .75 miles or so. The JSOL/Arboretum section has several trails that split off and wind throughout - watch for yellow rectangles on trees at trail junctions to guide you along the primary trail. You cross a road (there's a small parking lot here if you want to do just half the route), than skirt the edge of a golf course before heading back into the trees. In season, there's a portapotty at the edge of the golf course. The next mile is the Devil's Staircase segment, and it's beautiful! Although youre within 50 yards of the golf course above you most of the time, you'd never know it. The Rock River is on your other side. From here to the end, plan on scrambling up and down - and up, and down - rock steps. Most are comparable height to standard stairs, but a few required a little extra oomph or a shoulder to brace on for my shorter friend. It ends with a longish stone staircase down to Riverside Park, where you can reward yourself with an ice cream cone, day and time permitting. This trail made me want to take up hiking. It's something an eager beginner can accomplish, but I think an experienced hiker would appreciate it as well.