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The Terrifying 25: A List of Challenging White Mountain Trails

The Terrifying 25
The Terrifying 25

The Terrifying 25 is a popular list of difficult White Mountains Hiking Trails compiled by Trish Herr, the author of Up! A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure, for her young daughters Alex and Sage. They enjoy hiking through boulder caves, rocky scrambles, and traversing avalanche slides, which are well represented by this list.

The rules for hiking this list are pretty simple. You need to hike 20 trails on the Required list and 5 more trails from the Electives List. It just so happens that I’ve hiked all of them, but you don’t have to go to such extremes if you don’t want to. There is also a patch awarded to people who finish this list, which is much coveted by hard core White Mountain hikers.  Click for the complete set of rules and award information.

Required Trails (Pick 20)

Baldface Circle Trail11/15/14
Caps Ridge Trail9/15/12
Carter Ledge Trail11/14/15
Castle Trail6/19/11
Chemin des Dames7/2/17
Flume Slide Trail6/28/14
Great Gulf Trail8/3/15
Great Gully Trail7/2/17
Huntington Ravine Trail8/20/16
Ice Gulch Path9/1/15
King Ravine Trail6/21/17
Madison Gulf Trail7/3/17
Mount Morgan Trail (ladder route)5/11/16
Mount Percival Trail (cave route)5/11/16
North Slide, North Pyramid5/15/16
Six Husbands Trail7/5/17
South Slide, South Pyramid5/15/16
Sphinx Trail7/5/17
Subway (King Ravine Trail)6/25/16
Table Rock Trail, Dixville Notch (from eastern trailhead to ledge)9/30/16

Elective Trails (Pick 5)

Airline Trail7/25/11
Algonquin Trail11/1/15
Beaver Brook Trail7/8/11
Brook Trail7/30/13
Blueberry Ledge Trail3/31/10
Castle Ravine Trail6/22/17
Desolation Trail8/8/14
Devil's Hopyard Trail9/8/12
Goodrich Rock9/12/15
High Cannon Trail9/17/10
Osseo Trail1/24/2010
Percy Peaks Trail11/5/16
Wildcat Ridge Trail (rt 16 to E peak)6/7/09
Willey Range Trail (ladder section to summit)10/4/09
The Terrifying 25 Patch
The Terrifying 25 Patch

Written 2017.

Recommended Guidebooks and Maps:

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  1. As someone who doesn’t like heights, I’ve already seen some of those trails and added them to my “do not hike” list. Precipice trail in Acadia is about as scary as I ever want to do.

    • Precipice and Bee hive are sketchy, I do loove the Acadia hiking though. I also took the trail up Jordan Cliffs up once to Sargent, and it had a few iron rung hold ons. skirting some steep death drops. Not so bad alone, but having my wife with me, I could not help but be more nervous watching her. Another tough one was Dudley Trail down off of Pamola Peak in Baxter. sooooo steep, lot of bum sliding. Never again.

  2. What about Owl’s Head Slide?

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