**Update April 2019 – Isak Heartstone Troll will have a new home this summer. After the snow melts, Isak will settle in to his new home along the newly constructed Trollstigen Trail in Illinois Gulch.**
I went trolling in Breckenridge this week. Really, I saw a troll. In the East Wellington subdivision of Breckenridge, Colorado, there’s a giant troll made of trashed lumber with sticks for hair….and he’s about 15-feet tall!
I’d seen the social media buzz about this troll and when I stayed with my friends Kristen and Brad earlier this way, I just had to see it for myself, especially since we could walk to it from their house!
“This way to the troll” reads the sign. We followed it through rock piles and cairns precariously positioned along the path.
As we got close, I have to admit I was a little freaked out by it’s eyes, but as I got closer and saw the detailed work of the wood layered for clothes, the expression in the face, and the stick hair, I was intrigued by this troll. Kristen and Brad’s dog Penny seemed to like the “search for the troll” adventure too.
The gentle giant is named “Isak Heartstone” and is the creation of Danish artist Thomas Dambo as part of the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts. This is definitely a festival I’m putting on my calendar next year with unusual art installations throughout town and performances that include a strings trio performing up in the trees. Dambo is known for using reclaimed materials in his pieces. He started a series of wooden trolls in the wild about four years. They’re 38 others scattered around the world.
“Isak Heartstone” is made out of scrap wood and pallets, along with pine branches found alongs trail. He took approximately 10 days to be built by Dambo’s team of employees, friends, and local volunteers. Dambo always honors someone involved with the project by naming the troll after them. That’s where the Isak came from. Hearthstone came from a heart-shaped stone given to Dambo by local children from the Wellington neighborhood.
I hear “Isak Heartstone” will be hanging around his rock pile long after the festival. So, head up and go in search of a troll, just be respectful of the folks in the Wellington neighborhood. The town of Breckenridge suggests parking in town and taking the Breck Free Ride up to Wellington. Take the Purple route and get off at the French Gulch stop. The troll is right around the corner.