The World’s Hardest Maze Only Geniuses Can Solve

Updated: Jun. 11, 2024

If you can find a way to solve the world's hardest maze, you can consider yourself a genius

Are you a fan of riddles or perhaps a classic math puzzle gets your brain buzzing? Fancy yourself a genius in the realm of brain teasers or an aficionado of challenging quizzes? Well, get ready to put your skills to the ultimate test with the world’s hardest maze!

In a chat with Julie E. Bounford, PhD, author of The Curious History of Mazes, Reader’s Digest uncovered this mind-bending labyrinth. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you’ve got the intellect, you might just crack it. Plus, mazes can be fun for everyone! In fact, Bounford says that “mazes are for those who want to tune in to their innate sense of curiosity, to meditate, learn and reconnect with their sense of fun. They require you to engage both the logical and creative sides of your brain—an act that can lead to meditative joy.”

So, keep reading to download a printable of the world’s hardest maze and see if you have what it takes to conquer it. And if you’re curious about what makes mazes so captivating, we Bounford spilled those secrets too. 

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About the expert

  • Julie E. Bounford, PhD is the author of The Curious History of Mazes, a book that explores the history of mazes and offers readers more than 100 challenging mazes to solve.

What is the world’s hardest maze?

The most challenging mazes should bring about the greatest joy, right? We asked Bounford to point out the world’s hardest maze in her book, an anthology of some of the world’s most fascinating mazes (where she also traces the 4,000-year history of these captivating paths and labyrinths). Among the possibilities is the “Arthur Deacon’s Turtle Labyrinth (on pages 45 and 46 in the book),” which challenges you to use your finger to traverse a circuitous route “using one uninterrupted line,” or you could be “devoured by a ghost.” But Bounford believes the “Peace Maze” takes the prize.

The original version is a shrubbery maze planted in Castlewellan, Northern Ireland. Here’s what Bounford has to say about it: “It symbolizes the road to peace, the most challenging walk of all.”

Download the World's Hardest Maze Printable

What makes mazes so appealing?

Bounford lists the most fascinating mazes on the planet, whether they’re found in books, on sand, in mosaics, or in fields and gardens. Similar to a good word puzzle, they resonate with us because they can represent life’s twists and turns, explains Bounford. “The process of getting lost in a maze is transformative, allowing for self-discovery at each turn and fulfillment as we find our way,” she says.

What happens when you get out of the world’s hardest maze?

When you reach the center of the world’s hardest maze, aka the actual “Peace Maze,” you’ll find a bell you can ring—it’s said to be one of the most frequently rung bells in Ireland.

Why trust us

Reader’s Digest is known for our humor and brain games, including quizzes, puzzles, riddles, word games, trivia, math, pattern and logic puzzles, guessing games, crosswords, rebus, hidden objects and spot-the-difference challenges. We’ve earned prestigious ASME awards for our entertainment content and have produced dozens of brainteaser books, including Word Searches, Word Power, Use Your Words, Fun Puzzles and Brain Ticklers, Mind Stretchers, Ultimate Christmas Puzzles and more. Our 10 published volumes of Mind Stretchers were edited by Allen D. Bragdon, founder of The Brainwaves Center and editor of Games magazine. For this story on the world’s hardest maze, Reader’s Digest spoke with Julie E. Bounford, PhD, the author of The Curious History of Mazes. Read more about our team, our contributors and our editorial policies.