Seattle's Child

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Visit another PNW troll, Ole Bolle in Portland

Find all 6 trolls in the PNW

A visit to Portland, Oregon, is surely a treat for any PNW family, and a visit to the Portland Troll makes the trip even sweeter. Don’t miss this kid-friendly attraction on your next road trip to Portland.

Recycle art: Ole Bolle

The Portland Troll, named Ole Bolle, was the first troll to find its home in the Pacific Northwest. However, this was not Danish artist Thomas Dambo’s first rodeo. This was his 120th troll build, with many more being constructed worldwide. Using all recycled materials, the NW Trolls: The Way of The Bird King is Dambo’s most recent installation of troll art, and we are lucky enough to have six of these whimsical sculptures in our backyard.

[Find the West Seattle trollthe Issaquah troll, the Vashon Island troll, the Bainbridge Troll and the Ballard Troll]

Portland Troll: Where Is Ole Bolle?

You’ll find Ole Bolle peering into his home down a quiet gravel path labeled “Troll Trail” on the Nordic Northwest campus in Portland, Oregon. Admission to see Ole Bolle is free, but a guided troll walk is available with tours of the cultural center. See the website for more details.

 

Ole Bolle sits in an open area of the Nordic campus, lifting the roof of his red house to peek inside. Go inside the red house and look up at Ole Bolle. Sitting 19 feet tall, he is quite an impressive piece of art, kindly staring back at you. Examine the interior of Ole Bolle’s home and you’ll find a desk and some chairs. Have a seat and visit for a while and then explore the grounds.

More things to see at Nordic Northwest

After you visit the Portland troll, explore the grounds of the Fogelbo (a Swedish type of log house), built in 1938 by celebrated carpenter Henry Steiner. Tour the home, examine Nordic artifacts and then stop at Nordia House. Fogelbo is an active residence, and tours are offered throughout the year. Check the website for dates and times.

Nordia House is the cultural center and displays local exhibitions. It is also the location of Broder Söder, a restaurant serving Nordic cuisine for breakfast and lunch. While waiting for a table, wander through the art gallery down the hall. April’s exhibit is Sauna is Life: Sauna Culture in Finland. Sauna is Life introduces visitors “to the history and tradition of saunas while exploring the future of the contemporary urban sauna…” Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjörk will exhibit his work at the end of April.

Know before you go

  • Ole Bolle location: 8800 SW Oleson Rd. Portland, OR 97223
  • Admission is free and available during daylight hours. They are closed on most holidays.
  • Nordic NW has two parking lots with 50 spaces (they also have overflow parking available).
  • Restrooms are open during regular business hours.
  • Paths to the troll are wide, but the rocky terrain might challenge wheelchairs, scooters and strollers.
  • Nordia House hours: Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday through Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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Find more things to do on Seattle’s Child Calendar

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About the Author

Wendy Brusse

Wendy is an eastside writer and mama. She is currently completing her nursing degree and in her spare time enjoys adventuring around the PNW with her daughter and husband. Find her on Instagram @platinummomlife.