Trolls live in caves, rocks, or mountains. They live long lives, are very strong, but are known to be slow and somewhat dim-witted. They aren’t fond of humans and have even been known to eat a few.
In Morton Arboretum in northern Illinois, six wooden trolls have taken over, thanks to the inventive Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Each is about 30-feet-tall, except for a reclining one that is 60-feet long, and made of recycled wood. These installations are part of Troll Hunt, an inspired exhibition that will take families on nature walks in search of these dangerous creatures.
Visitors can take a hike along a 6-7 mile route through the 1,700-acre arboretum to find all six trolls, drive or bike to them, or take a “troll tram ride.” There’s a fun troll hunt map that only adds to the sense of adventure.
Chip Sullivan, FASLA, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, has called for bringing mythology back to our landscapes, to imbue them with deeper meaning that can connect us to stories from the past.
Through thousands of years of Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore, trolls have been seen as powerful supernatural beings who are capable of great mischief.
They have been stirring our imagination for centuries — and in Morton Arboretum the myth is so much fun.