grab a map and ride.
The gear you choose to wear is your own choice. I prefer a full face, I don't wear shin guards or any other body armor.
1st time, I don't know your skill level, all the trails are fun, my GF rides them, some of the bridges and drops are way easier than they appear, some of them are much steeper than they appear. ride each trail once to get an idea of what to expect before starting to push it.
Trails are all marked pretty well. Fun run is an awesome warm up trail.