I've only been on the BM Crest Trail for the last few miles leading up to Mt. Mitchell. All i can tell you is that at least THAT section of the trail was easy, not steep, very pretty, and with zero exposure or confusion. Still, the trail guide calls it "difficult," so maybe there are more difficult parts of the trail lower down. Then again, it's a popular state park, so it may just be that the difficulty ratings are aimed at non-hikers entirely.