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Troll Hunt Adventure Tips

A troll sitting on the ground with her two legs stretched out in front.

Troll Hunt takes place across the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres. 

Start an adventure to see them all, or split your trek across multiple visits.

Travel by car, bike, or on foot—whatever works best for you. The total hiking distance to find all the trolls is six to seven miles. 

Please be considerate of other visitors by practicing social distancing around the Troll Hunt sculptures and in other areas of the Arboretum, such as parking lots and on trails. Visitors are asked to wear masks when within six feet of other visitors who did not arrive with them. Please be aware that access to the troll's secret hideout has been removed in the interest of maintaining social distancing. 

Spoilers ahead: See the PDF iconTroll Hunt Map

Visit Troll Hunt accessibility for specific information about troll locations, distances, and how to find them. 

Visit Know Before You Go Visit Information to learn about special measures currently in place at The Arboretum to maintain public health standards during the coronavirus crisis.

Please be aware that the trail to Joe the Guardian will be blocked in the event of snow or inclement weather throughout the winter season. To learn about accessibility to Joe the Guardian, we recommend calling us at 630-968-0074 on the day of your visit. 

Hours and admission fees

The Arboretum is reopening to the general public on June 15. Timed-entry passes will be required at all times until further notice.

Limited tickets are available daily for the following time slots: 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. The Arboretum closes at 6:00 p.m and all guests must leave the grounds at that time.

To reserve your timed-entry member passes, click here. To become a member now, click here

To reserve your timed-entry visitor tickets, click here

To learn about what buildings and amenities are currently open, see our Phased Reopening of Buildings page.


Here are some tips to make the most of your adventure:


Driving and Hiking

  • A few trolls are visible from the road and others can be found via a short drive and hike.
  • Look for Troll Hunt parking signs, park, and then walk to see the trolls.
  • If a lot is full, please drive to the next lot. 


Biking and Hiking

  • Bring your own bike.
  • Cyclists must use paved roads as trails are reserved for hikers.
  • Please ride in the direction of car traffic and stay to your right.
  • Look for Troll Hunt parking signs and hike to see the trolls.



  • To see all the trolls, the total hiking distance is six to seven miles. See distance details
  • To get a sense of the total expanse of the Arboretum's grounds, view these maps of the PDF iconEast and PDF iconWest Sides. 
  • If walking along the road, please go against car traffic and stay to your right.


More tips:

Visit the Troll Archives located in the Sterling Morton Library, just a short walk from the Visitor Center. The library is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

You'll find a one-of-a-kind book related to the trolls you are hunting. While you're there, take time to build a model hideout and discover more books about trolls and nature.