My overall impression only changed slightly from my previous post. I measured the altitude using my altimeter/watch (admittedly crude), which indicated a difference of less than 500 feet from information kiosk at the north trailhead down to the pond at the south trailhead. Yes, there are many undulations which make this hike more challenging (and interesting) than it could have been if it had merely followed the creeksides.
None of the many climbs along this trail require more than about a minute of moderate exertion before flattening out. I'm sticking with my assertion that the climbs on this hike (out and back) total nothing close to 1800 feet.
Even so, this is my favorite hike in Travis County and I look forward to doing it again. Being 6-foot 5, I appreciate the fact that I rarely had to duck my head to avoid branches. The trail is well marked, in great condition and it would surprise me if anyone gets lost along this trail.
The pond/boardwalk at the south end is worth stopping at for a few minutes. Lots of turtles and small fish can be observed from the boardwalk. I fed them a few bits of the remains of an organic apple I had eaten. Saw a large (probably 40 to 50 pounds) snapping turtle surface for air and then slowly move out to deeper water.