The Story of the Breckenridge Troll, Isak Heartstone

Did you know that there is a very large troll who lives in the forest in Breckenridge, Colorado? This troll has a history with the town. His name is Isak Heartstone and he has become a popular attraction.

Header Photo courtesy Breckenridge Tourism Office/Rachel Lawlis.

If you have plans to travel to Breckenridge for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding adventures, be sure to stop by the trail that is home to the Breckenridge Troll. The path is not far from the ice skating rink and is not difficult to get to, whether you are an experienced hiker or not.

What Is the Breckenridge Troll?

The Breckenridge Troll has become quite the popular attraction in Breckenridge, Colorado. It is a massive troll sculpture situated right on the Trollstigen trail. The sculpture is approximately 15 ft. tall, making it quite the sight to see. People look forward to encountering the unique sculpture in person, where they may take pictures with it and discuss the stunning piece of artwork made with recycled materials.

How Can You Find the Troll?

If you plan to see the Breckenridge Troll in person, you probably want to know how to get to it with your loved ones. You can start your adventure near the Breckenridge Ice Skating Rink. 

The Trollstigen Trail is on the opposite side of the ice rink. You will walk along the trail for several minutes until you come across the Breckenridge Toll. It is less than a mile from the starting point, making it easy to access and quick to get to when you want to see it as soon as possible.

Isak Heartstone in his new home. Photo courtesy Breckenridge Tourism Office/Rachel Lawlis.

Why Do People Love the Breckenridge Troll?

The Breckenridge Troll draws many to the area. There is much to love about Isak’s story and heart. Its unique appearance in what seems like its natural environment is what draws people to it. Many visitors love to get as close as they can to it, taking pictures from different angles to document their experience. The troll is one-of-a-kind and has a fascinating history.

What Is the Story Behind the Breckenridge Troll?

Thomas Dambo, a Danish artist, imagined and constructed the Breckenridge Troll in 2018 using upcycled wood material including wood pallets and and other recycled wood. Isak immediately proved too popular for his own good. Homeowners in his original location were not happy with the throngs of troll seekers tromping through their neighborhood to get a peek at Isak. He was dismantled and removed just a few short months after having sprung to life. His fate was uncertain until the following year.

In 2019 Dambo rebuilt Isak using some of the original body parts including the head and heart, after which he is named, in a new and more accessible location. This is where he can be found today.

Dambo’s art is a strong reminder that you can do more with used items than toss them in the trash. After all, the Breckenridge Troll is living proof that you can recycle nearly anything.

More Breckenridge Arts

Breckenridge places arts and culture experiences in unexpected places. In addition to the Isak Heartstone installation, there are more than 30 pieces in the public art collection spread throughout town. This summer Breckenridge Music unveils their new AirStage, a mobile 1975 Airstream Ambassador Travel Trailer. It is now a perform-anywhere stage bringing the joy of much-needed concerts safely throughout town.

With plans to travel to Breckenridge, Colorado, be sure to take some time out of your busy agenda to stop by the Trollstigen Trail. You can take a short walk with your loved ones on the trail to see this amazing exhibit in person. Enjoy the scenery around you while viewing a magnificent sculpture composed of upcycled materials that will leave you in awe.

We can hope that this time around visitors respect Isak’s home and his story has a happy ending.

The Story of the Breckenridge Troll, Isak Heartstone

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

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