Troll Haven, Washington

Locals told us to see little-known Troll Haven, an attraction outside Sequim on northwestern Washington's Olympic Peninsula. We're glad we took their advice--what a place!

As we drove through rural countryside, unsure if we were going the right way, we were encouraged when we passed fanciful carved fence posts shaped like trolls. And when we saw a 25-foot Cyclops brandishing a stick, we knew we'd arrived.

Originally planned as a theme park, this incredible private estate boasts beautiful grounds and even buffalo. Although official tours aren't formally available, visitors can easily see and photograph the trolls and buildings from the road or driveway.

We gaped at lavish carvings of trolls, dragons and other mythical Norse figures that adorn the magnificent turreted mansion and other buildings. Look closely at the barn--trolls hold the roof up!

Sequim (pronounced "squim") is on U.S. Highway 101 in northwestern Washington, about halfway between Olympic National Park and Port Townsend. Troll Haven (950 Gardiner Beach Rd.) is about 12 miles east of Sequim; turn north from Highway 101 onto Gardiner Beach Road, just west of Mile Marker 277, and follow it past the boat launch and orchards. Park in the gravel lot next to the barn, which is outside the estate's fence.

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