Do you like hunting for trolls? Or have you always wanted to meet a dragon? If you fancy a bit of whimsy and fun in your adventures around Vancouver, then I highly recommend visiting Robert Burnaby Park and going searching for the mythical creatures that are hidden in the woods. If you are lucky, you might even run into chewie or some cute little ewoks!
Edit in April 2021: All the creatures have now been removed. You won’t be able to find them in Robert Burnaby Park anymore.
The artist, Nickole Lewis created this map if you would like to find the sculptures quickly. However if you have time, it is fun to wander around and try to find them yourself first! There are a few sculptures like the bee, the ewoks and the farmyard that are not listed on the map. The ewoks move around, so you never know where in the forest they might be hiding!
Searching for Mythical Creatures – the basics
Distance: Around 3 km
Elevation gain: 120 m
Time: Around an hour
There are quite a few facilities at Robert Burnaby Park including a pool, disk golf and tennis courts.
There are also picnic areas and a playground.
The park website says there are loos too.
Dogs: Yes. There is even an off leash area of the park.
Parking: I parked at the top of the park, just off 4th street. It looks like there is more parking near the playground and pool.
Transit: Take the Expo line to Edmonds station, followed by Bus 106 to 6th street (then walk the last ten minutes to the park)
How hard is it? Easy and really fun for all ages!
First things first – Leave no trace
Hopefully this goes without saying, but now these mythical creatures are causing a stir, more people from around Vancouver will want to go troll hunting to see them for themselves. If you decide to visit, please don’t touch or move the artworks or spoil them for other visitors. If you bring snacks, please take your rubbish away with you. Lastly, if you meet a cheeky squirrel (or any other woodland critter that is not made of sticks) please do not feed them. This is all part of the leave no trace philosophy.
I have no idea what order you are supposed to find these gorgeous sculptures, so I will just list them in the order that I found them.
I loved this sculpture of Lillith the sleeping fairy. She has a crown made of ivy and such an amazing detailed face! I just took a small trail off the main path into Robert Burnaby Park and stumbled upon her straight away. She is sleeping on a log, and is slightly hidden by the surrounding foliage. If you’re interested, you can commission your own version of sleeping beauty and have her slumber in your garden!
Emerald the Dragon
Once you have found Lillith, there are several mythical creatures nearby! I crossed a creek and followed a footpath off up a hill (to the left) until I ran into Emerald the Dragon and her babies. She is guarding a bunch of eggs by her tail, and she has the happiest dragon face. She was slightly taller than me (I’m 5’7 or 173cm) so she is hard to miss if you arrive facing her. However if you see her from the back, you’d never know there was a dragon hiding right there; It just looks like a pile of twigs.
Chewie has to be one of the most popular creatures to search for in Robert Burnaby Park. Isn’t he awesome!? To give you an idea about his size, Chewie’s head was more than four times bigger than my head! I wandered in completely the wrong direction to find him, but this is quite a nice part of the forest to get a bit lost!
There was a cute little bee hanging from a tree just behind Chewie. Don’t be so distracted by the wookiee that you miss this little dude!
Mermaid or Water spirit
Next I headed down the hill, towards a creek where I found this forest water spirit or mermaid. I loved her luscious green, mossy locks of hair! Scroll to the top of this post if you’d like to see her full fish-tail. She is laying close to a creek, so follow the sounds of water to find her.
Echo the non-binary Unicorn
I managed to find most of the previous sculptures by following the directions of other art-hunters who were also wandering around Robert Burnaby Park. However, just before I reached the mermaid, one of my friends sent me a map. I am not sure if I would have spotted Echo the non-binary unicorn, if I had not seen her on the map! At the moment, Echo has some bright green ferns for a mane, but they blend in to the woodland!
The Guardian was one of the easiest sculptures to find as they are situated on a log, in a bit of open space between the trees. There were some excited children who found this just before me, so I could hear their delighted squeals even before I caught a glimpse of the sculpture.
Edit: In Feb 2021, someone destroyed this sculpture, so I am afraid you won’t find the guardian owl standing anymore. RIP.
Mr Troll the Gentle Giant
One of my favorite sculptures is the gentle giant known as Mr. Troll. He is on the opposite side of the park to the other creatures. Despite his huge size, this fella can be hard to spot from the various trails! I had walked the whole way around him in a circle before I spotted him (I climbed up a hill and circled back to see him from above.) He is appropriately very close to a bridge, and leaning back against a very large tree, so he might be hard to spot from below.
Apparently he took over 30 hours of work to complete. He has a big sticky smile, so he seems happy with how he turned out!
I didn’t actually find these cute little dudes, but my friend Emily did, so I can share the other Star Wars related creatures, the Ewoks. These guys move around regularly, so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for them.
Lastly, I am not sure if this was made by the same artist (or maybe she created the pen and someone else added the animals!) But my friend Emily also found this little zoo in Robert Burnaby Park too.
If you like the look of this and would like to support the amazing artist who created the gorgeous sculptures, you can follow her on the Wizards Makery on facebook or see the Wizards Makery website here. I really love the way each sculpture is designed to change as they are re-taken by the forest. It’d be fun to go back and see them one more vines, moss and ferns have re-grown around them.
I had so much fun going troll hunting, and searching for mythical creatures in Robert Burnaby Park. Hopefully you will too!
Other quirky hikes near Vancouver
If you like this sort of art-filled wander in the forest, you might like these other quirky adventures near Vancouver. All of these are great options to explore with children.
- Teapot Hill near Chilliwack – You’ll find lots of teapots hidden in the forest
- Flood Falls near Hope – This hike to a waterfall has masks hung up along the trail
- Othello Tunnels – You can walk through old train tunnels (this one has been closed in 2020 due to covid-19 – but hopefully it will reopen in spring 2021)
- I have a list of other fun local Vancouver Parks you can explore here.