The initial "uphill" portion of trail is a bit of a pain. There isn't really a single path, making the steep climb both annoying and slippery (lots of loose pebbles/gravel). What does help is to go around the initial incline to the west, following a narrow well-traveled path along the ditch, and then taking a very clear incline back to the posted track. (Note the attached Relive video).

The trail is clear, with plenty of room for bikes and people. I saw just two solo mountain bikers on the trail this afternoon. It is unfortunate that the pipe now exists in the hole. However, the owners of the property and canal (Steamboat Canal Company) did so to improve water flow while also prevent more damage that occurred during the recent heavy winter---along with blocking stupid people who often tried to go through the hole.

I decided to go the normal route back (on that steep portion). In hindsight, I should have went back down the initial route I took. This is a decent couple hour hike that's close to town with easy access.