The trail was in really good condition despite recent rains further north. It was obvious it had rained the night before, but I have no idea how much recent precip they'd gotten in that area. I took a big chance dragging my MTB all that way. But what the heck, I was in the neighborhood!
I would classify the trail as generally easy. For the most part it contours a few dozen feet above the lake pool. From 192 there is a decent loss of elevation. It's not terribly technical, but could be a moderate climb back out. A few of the coves/hollers involved a short descent followed by a short climb.
There was very little in the way of surprises. At the end of my ride I encountered a faux rock garden. What I mean is that I rode over a single rock obstacle (bumpity-bump) pedaled a few dozen strokes and then over another obstacle (bumpity-bump) and so forth. There were some straightforward bridges, a few flat rock stream crossings, and two log obstacles with obvious detours. It's apparent that this section of trail gets some mountain biker love.
As typical, as I started down the trail I was beset with trials and tribulations. I put my contact lenses in after reaching the trailhead, but they wouldn't focus. While riding the first section along 192 I couldn't see anything but a green and brown blur. Therefore I didn't see the bug that was flying straight toward my gullet. My coughing fit combined with near blindness should have caused a catastrophic crash, but I guess my recent experience with sensory deprived mountain biking has broadened my skillz base.
Just before crossing the paved road (Cox?) I managed to get my eyes aligned and the bug washed down where my body could begin converting it to pedaling energy. That's when the fun really began.
By the time I reached the campground and felt the need to slow in case a kid, or dog, or kid with dog, or drunken fisherman/camper were to dart in front of me. There were some blind curves along the campground. And by then I felt like I'd been going for a long time. There was internal pressure to turn back toward the car. No, I didn't bother to check the time, I just felt it was time. When I returned to the car I discovered I'd not been out as long as I'd thought. It seemed like more than an hour, but it was just shy.
It was a good ride. It's too bad it's so far from my house, or alternately, that I live so far away. I want to get back down there and explore more of the Sheltowee Trace and other MTBing opportunities in the more southerly portions of the state.