How to Find the Breckenridge Troll - Breckenridge, Colorado

How to Find the Breckenridge Troll

Isak Heartstone is a 15-foot tall wooden troll sculpture located on the Trollstigen Trail in Breckenridge, Colorado. Originally built as a part of the annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) held in August, Isak was created by the Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who is known worldwide for bringing awareness to recycling and upcycling by building great things out of trash.

During your visit, please keep Isak’s home in pristine condition and leave no trace on his surroundings by following the tips below.

*The Trollstigen Trail WILL NOT be maintained throughout the winter months. Please adventure safely. 

 

Guidelines to Follow

Isak Heartstone peers through the trees in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Isak Heartstone peers through the trees in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Isak Heartstone is quite the sight and a popular attraction in Breckenridge. If you are heading on a troll hunt, please help Breckenridge maintain Isak for as long as possible by keeping these best practices in mind:

  1. Leave no trace – Take only photos (tag #BreckLife), and leave only footprints. There is no garbage service along the trail; please use the trash receptacle at the trailhead. We appreciate that you pack out what you bring in. Please don’t add anything to the Troll.
  2. Dogs must remain on leash – Trolls don’t like to be peed on, and people don’t like to step in poop. Please, pick up after your pets. It’s the right thing to do and the law. Dogs in Breckenridge must be on a leash.
  3. Stay on the trail – Please respect private property by staying on the trail and avoid taking shortcuts. Trollstigen Trail is a one-way directional trail. Bikes are not allowed on the trail, please park your at the trailhead. There is only one way to the Troll!
  4. Show some respect – To ensure he sticks around for others to see, please respect Isak as a piece of art and do not climb on him.
  5. Breckenridge ordinances apply – The Troll might be from another land, but this trailhead is still in town. Please respect the community surrounding the Troll by obeying recommendations and rules. Drone photography/videography is prohibited.

 

*The Trollstigen Trail WILL NOT be maintained throughout the winter months. Please adventure safely. 

 

How To Get To the Troll

Parking

NOTE – There is no Troll parking near Isak Heartstone. To ensure a successful Troll experience, we strongly encourage walking, biking, or taking public transportation (details below).

The best way to see Isak and explore Breckenridge’s quaint historic streets is by boots, bikes and buses. Leave your car at your lodging or better yet, let your lodging shuttle chauffeur you. If you need a lift, hop on the Breck Free Ride for an easy ride to the Trollstigen Trailhead.

If you came with a car, please park it for the day and help us preserve Breckenridge’s historic charm by ditching the keys and keeping traffic congestion and pollution at a minimum.

The most accessible, in-town paid-parking is South/North Gondola Lots and F-Lot. During peak seasons, those lots fill by 10:00am. For the best experience (including free parking), park in the Satellite Lot on your way into town (via I-70) and ride the Breck Free Ride bus into town.

 

Directions to Isak

Isak Heartstone lives on the newly constructed Trollstigen trailhead is located in the southeast corner by the Illinois Gulch trailhead. It is an easy walk, bike, or free public transportation ride to visit him. There is no troll parking at the trailhead, and “no parking” on nearby Town or County Roads is strictly enforced.

We recommend starting in the middle of historic downtown at the Breckenridge Welcome Center (203 S. Main St) and walking (15 min), biking (5 min), or riding the bus to Isak. The Breck Free Ride regularly leaves from Breckenridge Station (next to the base of the BreckConnect Gondola).

 

How to Walk/Bike to Isak from the Breckenridge Welcome Center

Hiker stock image: Walking, biking and taking the bus is the easiest way to get to the Breckenridge Troll.
Walking, biking and taking the bus is the easiest way to get to the Breckenridge Troll.

How to walk to the troll

Breckenridge has redesigned pathways and sidewalks, installed brighter LED lights, and added more heated walkways so guests feel comfortable using a sustainable method of travel: their feet.

Directions:

  • From the Breckenridge Welcome Center (203 S. Main St.), the trailhead is 15 minutes away at a leisurely walking pace.
  • Head south on Main Street toward Peak 9.
  • Take a left at the light on Boreas Pass Road and continue .25 miles toward the Stephen C. West Ice Arena on your right, passing the Railroad Park on the right.
  • The Trollstigen Trailhead is located in the southeast corner by the Illinois Gulch trailhead opposite the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, follow the Troll foot prints on the pavement.

 

How to hike to the troll

If you are looking for a little more adventure on your way to Isak, explore Breckenridge’s expansive trail network by adding on 1.5 miles with the route below. You can always stop by the Breckenridge Welcome Center for local insight on trails and routes.

 

Directions:

  • From the Breckenridge Welcome Center (203 S. Main St.), the trailhead is 15 minutes at a leisurely walking pace.
  • Head South on Main Street toward Peak 9.
  • Take a left at the light on Boreas Pass Road and continue .25 miles toward the Stephen C. West Ice Arena on your right, passing the Railroad Park on the right.
  • The Illinois Gulch Trailhead is located in the southeast corner from the Breckenridge Ice Rink.
  • From the Illinois Gulch Trailhead, take an immediate right on Illinois Gulch trail (to the left is the Trollstigen Trail (.25 miles) to Isak).
  • Stay to the right and follow signs to stay on the Illinois Gulch/Southside Trail.
  • Illinois Gulch will loop back to the Trollstigen Trailhead.
  • Take a right on to Trollstigen and Isak will be .25 miles on this directional, one-way trail.

 

How to bike to the troll

Did you know that Breckenridge’s bike lanes were awarded the gold level as a bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists? Rent a bike and check it out! Bikes are not allowed on the Trollstiegn Trail, please use bike racks at the trailhead.

Directions:

  • From the Breckenridge Welcome Center, the trailhead is ten minutes by bike.
  • Head east on Washington Street away from Breckenridge Ski Resort toward French Street.
  • Take a right on French Street and continue to Boreas Pass Road and the High Line Railroad Park.
  • Take a left on Boreas Pass Road and cross the street toward the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.
  • The Trollstigen Trailhead is located in the southeast corner by the Illinois Gulch trailhead opposite the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, follow the Troll footprints on the pavement.

How to Bus to the Troll for Free

The Main Street Trolley is a free transportation shuttle
The Main Street Trolley is a free transportation shuttle that services downtown Breckenridge.

Ride Breck Free Ride to Isak

*Please note, dogs are not allowed on Breck Free Ride and Main Street Trolley. If you plan to bring your furry friend with you, please take the Summit Stage or walk/bike.

The Breck Free Ride loops every 15-20 minutes throughout town and regularly picks up at the Breckenridge Station (next to the base of the BreckConnect Gondola) and outside of the Breckenridge Welcome Center.  Let your driver know you are headed to see Isak at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, and they will ensure you are on the right bus. Breck Free Ride provides free, convenient transportation all over town and makes it easy to go carless in Breckenridge.

 

Directions:

To Isak via Breck Free Ride – Gray Route (stop #9) – every 20 minutes from Breckenridge Station

To Isak via Breck Free Ride – Main Street Trolley (stop #9) – every 15 minutes from Breckenridge Welcome Center

To Isak via Summit Stage – Boreas Pass Loop (stop #88) – every 30 minutes from Breckenridge Station

 

Trail Route to Isak

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: .25 miles to Troll

Breckenridge has hundreds of miles of trails throughout town and nearby National Forest. By staying on the trails, you’re helping natural areas stay natural. The Trollstigen Trail was built to be a one-way, directional trail to help access and flow of troll seekers to Isak. The Illinois Gulch trailhead is located in the southeastern corner of the parking lot next to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. It will take you approximately five minutes to reach Isak. Please remember, it’s not adorable or acceptable to feed wild animals. You could alter natural behaviors, exposing them to predators or even euthanasia.

Please stay on the trail and leave plants, rocks, and historical items as you find them so others experience the joy of discovery. Help us pack it in and pack it out. Or pick it up to leave the place better than you found it. Carry out litter, even crumbs, peels and cores, and use the waste/recycling bin at the trailhead.

VARIABLE CONDITIONS EXIST on the trail to Isak. Depending on the time of year, expect snow, wind, sun, and traffic. During the winter, Trollstigen Trail can be icy, snowpacked, muddy, and/or slick. Please come prepared to hike in changing weather conditions. Please avoid shortcuts and stay on the path provided.

ACCESSIBILITY – The Trollstigen (Troll Trail) is firm and stable, but is not 36’’ wide nor smooth. The trail is a backcountry route that consists of stones placed in succession to create a firm tread. There is a compacted road base between the stones and one 6” high step on the return trail. Mobility-impaired users are welcome to utilize the Trollstigen Trail to Isak, but one or more accompanying companions would be prudent. The trail was not constructed to ADA standards, as the point of departure (where it does not meet ADA standards) is immediately off the trailhead.

 

How long will the troll be around?

Isak will only welcome those visitors who will love his home like he does and leave no trace on his surroundings. Isak Heartstone will call Breckenridge home for as long he stays intact and guests visit him responsibly. We need your help to keep him and his surroundings in great shape so that he decides to stay in the area for many years to come.

 

*The Trollstigen Trail WILL NOT be maintained throughout the winter months. Please adventure safely.

 

By Breck Editorial

The Breckenridge Tourism Office works to enhance and promote the unique character and experience of Breckenridge as a world-renowned destination resort and to represent, serve and perpetuate the common interest and character of its membership and community.

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