On a recent road trip to Maine, I headed up to Boothbay Harbor to see the newly installed Giant Trolls at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. About an hour north of Portland, and about 6-7 hours via car from North Jersey, this coastal town has rocky shorelines, adorable shops, lots of seafood, access to boat rides to see whales or puffins, and now trolls!
Danish artist Thomas Dambo has created some giant trolls around the world. He uses organic and recycled materials (the trolls are primarily made out of wood pallets) to create these captivating trolls with the hope of teaching about nature and sustainability. All his works are part of an interconnected fairytale, The Great Story of the Little People and the Giant Trolls. Visit trollmap.com for a list of worldwide locations and more info.
The Guardians of the Seeds recently arrived in the forest of midcoast Maine and are definitely worth a visit. There are five trolls in and each has a unique spirit and role to play in protecting the forest land. There’s also a side quest, where you can do a bit of a puzzle on the map you’re given when you enter the gardens and find the seeds that the trolls are busy protecting.
While two of the trolls are on main pathways and pretty easy for anyone to reach, the other three are on a little bit of hilly terrain and require a bit of climbing to get there. Good footwear and drinking water is highly recommended. These adorable creatures are a permanent part of the botanical gardens and you don’t have to pay an extra fee to see them. However, the gardens currently require you to purchase timed tickets in advance.
And while visiting the trolls, don’t forget to wander the rest of the 300 acres of garden space. Filled with an ever-changing seasonal collection of plants and flowers, this dreamy space will give you gardening goals. And the children’s garden is fantastic, filled with playful water fountains and chicken’s along with McGregor’s garden. Take the kids down by the river to see the fairy village, where they can construct their own little fairy houses out of twigs and other organic materials.
Stay in the Boothbay area overnight. There are a lot of cabin rentals in the area, or make your home base Freeport or Portland and do a day trip. If you’ve never been to Maine, the charming Boothbay is definitely touristy, but maybe not as well known as Kennebunkport or Bar Harbor. But if you want some quaint New England vibes, along with a cool art installation, put Boothbay on your road trip visit list.