Troll Hunt in Detroit Lakes

Discover the Magic of Thomas Dambo’s Trolls in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Nestled in the picturesque Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, about three hours from the Twin Cities Metro Area, an enchanting experience awaits visitors: the whimsical world of Thomas Dambo’s trolls. These larger-than-life wooden sculptures are more than just artistic marvels; they are storytellers that bring the beauty of nature and the power of creativity to life. Let’s delve into the history behind these captivating creations and explore the magic they bring to Detroit Lakes.

The Origins of Thomas Dambo’s Trolls

Thomas Dambo, a Danish artist renowned for his large-scale, recycled wood sculptures, is the creative genius behind these trolls. His work is driven by a passion for sustainability and a desire to inspire others to see the potential in discarded materials. Dambo’s trolls are crafted from reclaimed wood, often sourced from old fences, pallets, and scrap wood, giving new life to materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Dambo’s journey into the world of trolls began in 2014 when he started building these mythical creatures as part of his mission to create art from recycled materials. His trolls quickly gained international fame, with installations popping up in various countries, each one telling a unique story connected to its location.

The Trolls of Detroit Lakes

In Detroit Lakes, Dambo’s trolls have found a perfect home amidst the region’s natural beauty. The trolls here are part of a broader initiative to promote environmental awareness and foster a deeper connection between people and nature. Each troll is strategically placed to not only create a sense of wonder but also to encourage exploration and interaction with the environment.

Troll Hunt Detroit Lakes – The Experience

Visitors to Detroit Lakes can embark on a troll-hunting adventure, discovering these gentle giants hidden among the trees and trails. Each troll has its own personality and backstory, inviting families to engage in imaginative play and storytelling. The trolls are designed to be touched and climbed on, making them perfect for children and adults alike to enjoy.

The experience is more than just visual; it’s educational. It’s a fun and engaging way for families to learn about sustainability while enjoying the great outdoors.

Trolls in Order! Let’s go on a Troll Hunt Detroit Lakes:

1 .Alexa’s Elixir

A wise old traveling troll always dragging their portals and ingredients along with a magic spoon. This troll has a challenge for  you.

Location: Detroit Lakes City Park | 1355 Washington Ave, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Accessibility: This troll stands proud in the city park and is view by the parking lot. This is the easiest troll to find and has a story to tell. A great troll to start your troll hunt!

Difficulty Level: Easy


2. Long Leif

Leif is a friend of the trees. He enjoys hanging out with them and he has become as tall as them!

Location: Detroit Mountain Recreational Center | 29409 170th St, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 

Accessibility: You can find him about a 1/3 mile from the parking lot on a wooded trail. The walk is fairly easy with slight hills

Difficulty Level:  Moderate


3. Barefoot Frida

Frida is an outdoorsy type that loves small but fun challenges! Does she have a challenge for you?

Location: Randolph Ave & Highway 54, Detroit Lakes, MN

Accessibility: Frida is located about 1/3 mile from the parking area. The walk has mild inclines.

Difficulty Level: Moderate


4. Jacob Everear

Jacob loves to listen, that’s why his ears are so big! Make sure to tell him a story when you visit him.

Location: Wannigan Regional Park | 200 N River Dr, Frazee, MN 56544

Accessibility: Jacob is located on a short trail about 1/3 mile from the parking lot. The trail is mainly even.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

jacob everear troll part of the troll hunt detroit lakes


5. Ronny Funny Face

Ronny is always looking for a good laugh! He wants to make the whole world smile. I know he made me smile!

Location: Dunton Locks County Park | 24878 Dunton Locks Rd, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Accessibility: You can find Ronny on a fully paved trail that runs along the lake. It is easy to access about a 1/4 from the parking lot.

Difficulty Level:  Easy

ronny funny face troll part of troll hunt detroit lakes


6. The Golden Rabbit

You can peep the rabbit on the very last part of your trek. You get quite the surprise when you find him but also a sense of calm. Enjoy your visit with the Golden Rabbit; it took a bit of time to get to him.

Location: You have to solve the riddle to find the Golden Rabbit

Accessibility: The rabbit is difficult to find because you have to solve the riddles to find his location. The rabbit is located 1/2 mile from the parking lot (1 mile round trip!). There are large, long hills and you walk through the woods to find him!

Difficulty Level: Hard

the golden rabbit troll part of the troll hunt detroit lakes recreation area

7. Holmes Theatre Becker County Museum Portal

Location: Becker County Museum | 806 Summit Ave, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Accessibility: Easy to find and can see from the car.

Difficulty Level:  Easy

troll portal in troll hunt detroit lakes minnesota

Why Visit the Troll Hunt in Detroit Lakes?

A visit to see Thomas Dambo’s trolls in Detroit Lakes is a perfect family outing. It combines art, nature, and education in a way that captivates both young and old. The trolls inspire awe and curiosity, encouraging visitors to appreciate the beauty of recycled art and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Moreover, the scenic backdrop of Detroit Lakes provides a beautiful setting for a day of adventure. Families can enjoy picnics, hiking, and the serene lakeside atmosphere while discovering the hidden trolls.

Thomas Dambo’s trolls in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, offer a magical experience that blends art, nature, and sustainability. These remarkable sculptures not only entertain and inspire but also teach valuable lessons about the environment and the power of creativity. So pack a picnic, grab your hiking shoes, and set out on an unforgettable troll-hunting adventure in Detroit Lakes. It’s a journey filled with wonder, learning, and endless fun for the whole family.

Troll Hunt Detroit Lakes: Troll Map

Have Fun Going on a Troll Hunt in Detroit Lakes! Find out more about this installation and Project 412.

Visit the Full Worldwide Troll Map here.

Related Article: Summer Family Fun Guide

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