View Full Version : Tunnel Ravine Slide Trail to Moosilauke

05-20-2005, 10:32 PM
Anyone know (ahem, David Metsky) what the condition is for the old Tunnel Ravine Slide Trail going up Moosilauke. I'm interested in this route unless it's horrifically steep or dangerous.

I have this link (http://world.std.com/~Whites/trails/126.html) but it doesn't tell you much more then, yeah -- it existed.

-Dr. Wu

05-21-2005, 12:44 PM
Here's a 1946-48 description of it:

"This picturesque, though steep and rough, trail lies in a ravine south of the ridge which bears the Benton Trail. It is most used for descents....It leaves the Benton Trail .4 miles below the summit of Moosilauke, soon reaches and descends bare ledges marked with white paint, a slide, then the brook at its foot. [This point was just north of a DOC shelter, no longer there, of course.]Shortly it turns south from the brook and follows a logging road to the Tunnel Brook Trail. Distance: summit to Tunnel Brook Trail, 3 miles."

The link you provide (from Joe Jalbert's lost trails site) also says this:

Maintainer: DOC
Locale: Moosilauke
Condition: No Report
East Terminus: Benton Trail
West Terminus: Tunnel Brook Road (Trail)
Built: circa 1930
Abandoned: before 1952
Last Update: 10/24/00

Jalbert still questions whether the trail is "abandoned" or just "closed" and advises his readers to check with DOC. I looked in the first edition of the Dartmouth Outing Guide (1992). Its map of Moosilauke does not show this trail.

I think I have some pictures of the ravine and slide. I remember sitting looking at that slide last time I was on the Benton Tr and think I took a few shots. I'll see if I can find any.

05-21-2005, 06:28 PM
I've never done it myself, but I know a couple of parties that have done it with mixed success. They got to the summit, but strayed from the old trail many times.

have fun and let us know how it goes!


David Metsky
05-21-2005, 09:23 PM
People did follow the old trail on a fairly regular basis back in the 1980's but I don't think many have tried since then. There's not much if any of a trailbed left in many places, it's really more of a route finding trip now. The remains of an old shelter are along the way, but beyond that I'm not sure what you'll find.


05-23-2005, 06:24 AM
Here's a very small picture taken from about the 2700' outlook on the Benton Trail into the ravine. I don't think this would be the route of the old trail but the red arrow points to an overgrown slide. In reducing this to fit the 100K limit, I overdid it! If the slide could be in the right place and you want to see it larger, I can upload it to webshots.

Also, here's a post on VFTT on 1-17-2004 by theswissfactor, who climbed the Tunnel Brook Ravine in winter 2002:

"I've eyed this trip [something in the Fran. Notch] for some time, but never realized it would be as exciting as it seems it was. Now I'm desperate to do it. There is a tremendous amount of potential for random gully bushwacks in the Whites. I climbed Tunnel Brook Ravine on Moosilauke two winters ago, and it's one of the most memorable hikes I've done in NH."

If you want to see a good aerial view of the old slide in Little Tunnel Ravine, look at vol. 2 of The Moosilauke Reader, p. 560. The author, Ballard (1937), says this:

"Some of these slides were caused at the time of the 1927 flood....Descent of the mountain by way of the Tunnel Slide, which is a difficult scramble even for active people, is an impressive lesson in how mountains are worn away."

The aerial view inclines me to believe that my little picture does show a part of the overgrown slide in question.