This was a fairly strenuous hike, as much of the elevation profile tended to head straight up the mountain on old use firer roads - disregarded the thought of switchbacks but oh well ! The sign post at the bottom that indicates Chalk Mountain is 9 miles is also wrong (more like 7 miles). There are beautiful views coming up the first ridge, as well as later on in the hike where the trail pops out on a steep open/sandy ridge. Other parts of the trail actually remain quite level under the tree line. The conditions of the trail at this time are fine, there are just several down trees and washed out fire roads due to all the rain this winter, but nothing impassible by all means. Make the hike up to Chalk Mountain and bring plenty of water - You'll be very glad you did !