It took a handful of weeks — and 50 or so artists and volunteers — for a giant wooden troll to appear for public viewing in the lush, green forest of southwest Vermont. Its name is “Lost Finn,” and herds of people have shown up in South Londonderry, Vermont, to get a glimpse of the towering wooden marvel since Danish artist Thomas Dambo finished it July 5.
But also in a matter of weeks, the trail to see the seated ligneous giant, which measures 30 by 7 feet, has since been closed off to the public.
“Today I have some bad news,” Dambo said in a video on social media last week. “Nobody will be able to go there anymore.”
The sculpture made of reclaimed wood was technically built on private land, commissioned by Tim and Elizabeth Dugan, who own the property where “Lost Finn” sits. According to VTDigger, they opened it up to the public after Dambo and his team finished the sculpture in early July.
The rain and flooding this summer kept large swaths of visitors away until recently. But on the weekend of Aug. 12 and 13, visitors quickly filled up the 10-space parking lot dedicated to the sculpture. When space ran out, VTDigger reported that others parked on a main road, even though there were signs directing them not to.
The Vermont outlet also reported that local police received a couple of complaints of cars blocking the road. One of the owners of the property then posted on social media that they had to close the trail that gives visitors access to “Lost Finn” because the traffic concerns were “an unfair burden on the town and our neighbors” as well as a “safety hazard.”
On a phone call with Boston.com, Dambo said he was told that at one point 50 cars were parked on the shoulder of Winhall Hollow Road. He couldn’t estimate how many people were there to see “Lost Finn,” but his newest troll in Washington state attracted more than 3,000 visitors in just one weekend.
For the foreseeable future, you shouldn’t make any plans to visit “Lost Finn,” and it isn’t immediately clear when they’ll allow visitors again. On his social media, Dambo has received complaints from fans who missed the chance to see the wooden troll, but he gets that the landowners had to close down the trail to respect neighbors — and of course, traffic laws.
Dambo hopes he can work with the property owners and city to find a solution, such as creating more parking spaces or relocating the sculpture. And he invites anyone with a better suggestion to let him know on social media.
“I really think he’s one of the best ones I’ve ever made,” Dambo said. “I don’t know what is possible, but I’m open to any solution. We don’t want him to sit alone and be lost.”
If you missed your chance to get a glimpse of “Lost Finn,” don’t worry. There are more troll sculptures by Dambo here in New England.
According to Dambo’s troll map, used to keep track of his growing “Trail of 1,000 Trolls” project and for those that want to make a road trip out of wooden troll sightings, there are five in Boothbay, Maine — just under three hours from Boston.
“Lost Finn” is also part of a series by Dambo called Way of the Bird King. Dambo has spent this summer traveling across the U.S. to build several similar trolls and hundreds of birdhouses, using the latter as guiding posts to find each troll. He mostly uses reclaimed wood to make the trolls, but other recycled materials come into play in much of his work.
There are Way of the Bird King trolls located in New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado, and a handful in the Northwest. Dambo posts project updates on YouTube and Instagram to hundreds of thousands of followers a few times a week.
It isn’t the first time that Dambo’s work has caused overcrowding concerns. A 15-foot troll in Breckenridge, Colorado, was taken down and put up in a different location because it attracted too many visitors.
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com