Trolls in Belgium, you say? Oh yes, there are GIANT trolls (seven, to be exact) in Belgium, and they’re waiting for you to go find them.
Save this post and add it to your “When in Belgium” list, because going on this self-guided quest is so much fun for the whole family, and totally worth checking out.
I had this place on my list since we moved to Germany, but because of the pandemic, we couldn’t even venture into Belgium for almost a year and a half. Now that the coast is (basically) clear, I’ve been waiting for an available, nice-weather day to venture over for this, and we finally did it.
The best part is that my kids loved it and it totally lived up to my expectations!
This post will give you everything you need to know about where to find these giant trolls in Belgium, how/why they were made, and tips to make your trip there easier.
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Quick Things you Need to Know
- Plan for a good two hours wandering around hunting for the trolls, but you could easily spend longer. Keep reading for other things to do around the park.
- It’s stroller-friendly…kind of. There are paths within the forest, which is great; however, there is one section with a BUNCH of stairs; we saw someone with a stroller turn around.
- Visiting with kids? The wooden path in some parts is a couple of feet off the ground.
- There are bathrooms within the park. One is at the visitor’s center, and there’s another if you’re dining at the restaurant.
- The park is open all year round, but there will be interruptions between June—August for Tomorrowland festivities.
How to Get to the Trolls in Belgium
Just south of Antwerp, Belgium, is a town called Boom that booms with excitement. For three weekends during the summer, Boom’s De Schorre park transforms into Tomorrowland, an electronic dance festival that hosts more than 500,000 guests.
But during the rest of the year, it’s home to the 7 Trolls and the Magical Tower (that’s the official name, by the way; more on that below) that permanently reside in De Schorre’s forest.
How to Get to Boom/De Schorre Park
Boom is located in between Antwerp and Brussels (but closer to Antwerp), and the trolls are nestled in Boom’s De Schorre park.
Entry is free, and we spent about two hours actively hunting for the trolls (but there’s enough to do that you could spend longer.
Getting to De Schorre via:
This is the easiest option to find the trolls in Belgium, especially if you’re passing through on your way to the Netherlands or on a day trip from Germany. Look for free parking in P1 (the main entrance; close to a restaurant within the park) or P2 if the first place is full.
Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base/JFC Brunssum: about 1.5 hrs away
Spangdahlem Air Base: about 2.5 hours away
Wiesbaden: about 4 hours away
Antwerp: about 30 minutes away
Brussels: about 30 minutes away
Ghent: about 45 minutes away
Amsterdam: about 2 hours away
There is a De Schorre bus stop right in front of the P1 parking lot. Plan your bus route here. (A quick search shows that it’s about an hour bus ride from both Brussels and Antwerp; a better option might be taking the train to Boom, then a bus to De Schorre.)
The closest train station is about a 30-minute walk from De Schorre. Grab a bus from the station to De Schorre.
So…Trolls in Belgium. Why?
The 7 Trolls and The Magical Tower was a commission by Tomorrowland for the 15th anniversary of the festival in 2019 as a gift to the community and to help bring people back into nature.
The Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, used recycled and reclaimed materials like pallets, old wooden shelves, and fallen tree branches to create the ginormous mythical creatures.
With help from more than 200 people to collect the materials, a crew of 15, and more than 25 weeks to make them, these trolls now range from 23 feet to 60-feet tall.
But here’s a fun fact: these aren’t the only trolls Dambo’s constructed. You can find them all around the world, including America, France, Germany, Denmark, and several other places like South Korea and Puerto Rico.
Check out the “troll map” here; I have a feeling we may go on a troll hunt again soon!
Let’s go on a troll hunt in Belgium!
So technically, the locations for the trolls are on Google Maps (search “De Schorre, Boom” and zoom in.) You’ll see the trolls on there, and their locations are correct, but you might have to sometimes go off the beaten path to actually find them…or at least we did, and then we’d realize there was usually an easier way to get to them.
However, I think part of the fun was that we (mostly) just wandered around and didn’t consult our map. But there were a few times that we just couldn’t find one and needed a little help.
When you’re in De Schorre you’ll notice giant footprints on the ground. While the kids thought these were from the trolls, they might technically be there to guide you to the barefoot park. Either way, follow them towards the right to the beginning of the forest, here.
If you need a little guidance, here’s a very loose route that I suggest (but really, 99% of the fun is going in there and just walking around to see them). In all honesty, we didn’t follow this route, but it seems like it would be the easiest way to get to them after being there.
Start with finding Little Nora.
She’s down a wood-chipped path on your left just after you start your journey into the forest. Little Nora is the youngest of the seven and likes gathering mystical stones. She’s also the only one with a tail!
Backtrack the way you came in and then turn left, continuing down the gravel path. You’ll see Hannes sitting on a brick building before you know it. Hannes appears to be an older troll (check out his “beard”) and enjoys making necklaces.
This was the hardest troll to find in the park, and we didn’t actually get up close to it; we could never figure out a clear path to take us there.
Continue walking along the path through the woods. There’s an option to turn left and go down “stairs.” Go down them and when you find the lake on your right, look right, and boom. There’s Mikil, sitting right there.
Continue going straight; don’t turn left. When you get to a dead-end, turn right. You’ll eventually come across Arvid, almost blocking your way on the path.
The legend says that Arvid enjoys looking for dead trees to create new things; you can see the knife in her right hand. She also has a special nose ring, which was a gift from her great, great, great, great-grandma.
Una and Joures
Keep on, keeping on along the path. You’ll have to walk up some decent stairs, and then when you have the option to go left or right: go left. Follow the gravel path and just in front of you should be Una and Joures, life-long friends just hanging out and enjoying the day on the grass.
*When we visited in June they were already well underway setting up Tomorrowland and we couldn’t get very close to see them.
Kamiel and his Magical Tower
Get back on the path and go back to that fork in the road. Go left this time, into the forest and follow the road; you’ll be greeted with the magical tower and Kamiel!
This was my kids’ favorite spot, for obvious reasons: you can climb the tower, the rocks, and the troll.
Check out the stunning views from up top, and read the tale of the trolls in the magic book in front of Kamiel. His story says that when he wears his mask he can speak the language of all the animals. Pretty cool if you ask me!
The 7 Trolls and the Magical Tower
There’s a book perched just past the bottom of the Magical Tower with the tale of the trolls:
The 7 Trolls and the Magical Tower
By Thomas Dambo
Once upon a time, there were seven good friends, sometimes together and sometimes apart. They loved their house by the river in the woods with all their heart.
The seven giant trolls were as big as pine trees. And they had seen the sun set and rise countless times.
Una and Jeuris, friends for life, mused in the grass. Staring at the clouds, talking about how things used to be.
Mikil was as strong as a dragon and always on his feet.
Kamiel wore a mask, one for each day.
Arvid carved his desires into old trees.
Hannes made pearls of clay to show to everyone.
Little Nora sees the sun rise every day, with her young hair in a ponytail, she still has plenty of time to dream.
They could see far beyond the forest, all the way to where the future began. They saw civilizations perish and new ones arise. They saw the mountains grow, turn to ice, melt again and burn up. Fish turned into birds and the continents shifted.
And now they saw those little people with their deeds so mighty, mind a danger to all the work of eternity.
The trolls got scared, because life was way too rare to stop tomorrow and cease to exist. And so the seven trolls gathered on the mountain tops, to create the new and stop the old.
Kamiel exclaimed, “Let’s help them get better, more precise and faster, the little ones mean well, but they are not bright yet.”
“We will build them a tower the size of a troll and show them that all beings within are the same and loving.”
They worked through the winter and were ready by the summer. They let the little people in with a greeting gesture. Those little people climbed up to the top and opened their eyes there. Far beyond the forest, the mountains and the sky they looked delighted.
They peered into the future, with a tear here and there. And no one knows what they saw, but in the eyes the truth remains…
When to Hunt for the Trolls in Belgium
De Schorre park is open year-round, and it’s free to enter (hooray)! But keep an eye on their calendar for things like Tomorrowland and other events. *They were prepping for a concert the night we were there and one section was blocked off, so we had to walk the long way around to the forest.
Their website actually says that there is limited access to places between June and August (because of Tomorrowland).
We were there in the summer (June), and while it was pretty and lush and green, I think visiting in the fall (any time after August) would be extra magical to see the trolls.
There were paths throughout the park, and in the forest, but keep in mind—especially if you’re with kids that if it rains it’s going to be muddy and slippery.
Other Things to do After Hunting Trolls in Belgium
We purposely started our journey in the park early (around 9:30 am) with enough time to finish around lunchtime.
There’s a restaurant at De Schorre (the broodjes are pretty large and their homemade lemonade was great on a warm day) with a playground adjacent and a restroom for customers. You also saw several families enjoying a picnic.
There’s also the option to go on a paddle boat ride, play mini-golf, go fishing, experience a barefoot park, and more. Check out all the activities here.
If you have a day, morning, or afternoon to spare, I 100% recommend checking out these trolls in Belgium. It was a great adventure that the entire family enjoyed.