The final gravel portion of the road is best navigated in a vehicle with high clearance - big gravel and potholes. Beautiful old-growth trees, ferns, fungi and mushrooms and the rare columbine, plus fat blueberries ripening as you get higher. A great hike for a hot day, because it is virtually 95% in the trees. We only encountered 4 other parties on an August Saturday. Lots of water near the trail, even in August, but evidence that earlier there was a lot of water on the trail. Root-y and rocky for much of the time, and little variety + no vistas made 9.7 miles seem more like 15. Some muddy spots even in mid-August, and hungry mosquitoes in the usual places near water and mud. 10 or so giant blowdowns, so major tree crossings necessary. The lake is small and shallow with little shoreline to enjoy, charming nonetheless.