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This trail wiki is using the following definition:

Hard: Over 10 miles with elevation change of 1800-2500 ft. Only for the experienced hiker in excellent condition.

Most of the below hikes are covered due to the length if attempted as a day hike. Mount Mitchell Trail is also due to elevation up and down the highest peak in eastern USA. Black Mountain Crest Trail is the hardest overall listed below due to multiple ups and downs over high ridge peaks with some bouldering. Trails with multiple bridgeless crossings also might get bumped up a category notch.

Hiking a section of these trails could afford an easy to medium experience. Out to Mt. Craig and back along the Black Mountain Crest Trail from Mountain Mitchell State Park would be a much easier day hike.

Backpacking the longer trails also breaks up the distance cover each day, thus moderating the challenge.

Others are medium trails, but listed as hard due to current trail condition. The Bays Mountain Park (BMP) trails, Roaring Branch Trail, and Chief Benge Scout Trail all still have some winter storm damage from 2009. Climbing over fallen trees or hacking through rhododendron could be involved.