This trail is a really nice accompaniment to your morning coffee, but bring a thermos -- it's long enough that the coffee might get cold by the time you reach the end!
Your hike begins from between the C and D Loops of the Heart O' the Hills campground. There's no parking at the trailhead, so unless you're staying in the campground, park in the large parking lot just south of the trailhead. Sometimes there are walking sticks leaning against the trailhead sign. Take one if you'd like to use it, but be sure to leave it for future visitors when you are done.
The trail starts off wide, with a bridge over a very pretty little stream. For the first half mile, it's wide enough to easily accommodate two hikers side by side, but gradually it narrows as it continues into the heart of the forest. It meanders through this forest, populated by huge trees and a variety of flora. Fauna is a bit more scarce, but keep an eye out. Early in the morning especially, you may be lucky enough to chance upon a deer.
The trail is built in a damp area, so there are lots of puncheons and turnpikes. You can go as far along the trail as you want; there’s no big payoff waiting at the end, so if you’re satisfied after a half mile, rest and be satisfied. You’re only missing more of the same. If you do want to continue to the end though, you'll discover where the elevation gain comes from...it's all in the last mile, when the trail descends 500 feet into a creek valley and its end at a fallen tree.
Though you will be able to hear the creek, it's hard to access it, and since the trail dead-ends at a private property boundary, just rest and enjoy the sounds of the creek before beginning the climb back.