If you look at the elevation you see it gets steep in the second half. This is also where the trail gets less well-maintained, more slick, more dead-fall, etc... Be cautious.
Parking at the TH for the Cataloochee Divide Trail
, the Asbury Trail starts across the street. A little trail marker is posted there and the trail is narrow, but easy to follow, with a clear trail and frequent yellow blazes.
The trail is, generally, a steady descent with a gentler grade in the beginning and a steeper grade in the middle and toward the end. The first half is a delight. Smooth, beautiful, with a number of wildflowers, flaming azaleas, and mountain laurel. After the halfway point the trail becomes a bit more overgrown, and less enjoyable, but remains generally easy to follow thanks to the blazes.
Eventually everything levels out and the trail reaches the river. Here, it becomes more challenging to follow the trail, as the trail is in the flood plain and a lot has washed up in that area. However, it is not too challenging and as long as you follow the river upstream you'll quickly come to a tressel bridge where a road crosses the river.
At this point there are a few options. You can turn around and head back the way you came. You can continue down the road, downstream, and connect with trails to go deeper into the park and possibly a big loop coming back, ultimately, on the Cataloochee Divide Trail
, or head up the road (closed as of the time of this writing (June 2020)) back to the parking area (or take a left at the second intersection, to head up the Hoglen Gap Trail
to reconnect with the Asbury Trail)
Everything one would expect. Plus, I saw my first Elk in the SE.