The surface of the trail is predominantly hard-packed dirt, though some sections are grass covered and a few corners on the main descent are sandy. The trail is well marked and fairly clear as to where it goes. Be sure to follow this trail in a counterclockwise direction as this gives you a longer descent and easier climbs.
Starting from the reserve entrance closest to the carpark, stick to the uphill path. An easy climb through the trees will lead you to a forest road heading to the summit of the hill. The trail continues across this road with a slightly more difficult climb over some erosion control banks. Once at the summit, you've got a decently long downhill section ahead of you. The lower half of the descent has a number of erosion control banks crossing the trail, so watch your footing here.
As the trail opens up and turns to your left, you'll have a great view of Bathurst and the Uni in the foreground, before starting another downhill section. The Kangaroo Walking Track
splits off to the right and is worth taking as it adds another ~2km while only skipping about 200m of the John Cousins Trail.
The final climb is long, but fairly easy, with plenty of tree cover to provide shade from the sun for those summer hikes. Once you reach the forest road you can choose to turn left and climb a short distance to do the first section of the trail in reverse, but when it's busy it's best to turn right and go with the expected direction of travel.