Search for Trolls on Bridgeview Trail in Oakland - 510 Families
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Search for Trolls on Bridgeview Trail in Oakland

Bridgeview Trail in Oakland offers a whimsical 1.4 mile hike punctuated with the most charming and unique little rustic trolls hiding along the way. My four kids (ages 2, 4, 7, and 9) and I had so much fun ambling along the mostly flat and lush forested trail looking for the mischievous troll sculptures along the way.

Bridgeview Trail Trolls
These toothy fellows, Frank & Filbert, were my two-year old’s favorites | Photo: Julie Herson

There’s something truly special about the oddball trolls peppered among the majestic redwoods and dripping vines that makes this small hike much grander and more exciting for children. While there is a bit of highway noise, a good amount of fellow hikers, and plenty of dogs, Bridgeview Trail is a truly delightful outing to engage your family’s imagination.

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Where to Find Bridgeview Trail

Bridgeview Trail runs along Dimond Canyon and Sausal Creek right next to Montclair Golf Course. You can begin your hike on either end of the trail, either at the Bridgeview Trailhead or at the Monterey Blvd. upper trailhead (my phone’s GPS got me there without issue). The Bridgeview Trailhead is at a dead-end of a residential neighborhood and offers an approachable, flat entrance. This is the way we chose to enter and we didn’t have any trouble finding parking (please don’t block driveways!).

Orlando! You really need to keep your eyes peeled to find all the trolls | Photo: Julie Herson

The Monterey Blvd. entrance is just past the Montclair Golf Course. Look for the brown sign on the right side of the street and walk down the trail and follow it around. You’ll encounter steep stairs down to the creek pretty quickly, and then you’ll need to climb back up stairs on the other side as well (don’t miss Quincy hanging out by the creek!). If you have smaller children, you may prefer to enter on the Bridgeview Trailhead side and skip the stairs altogether (there are plenty of trolls to find before getting to the stairs if you go that way).


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Bridgeview Trail Trolls

map to find the trolls in oakland
Follow the map to find them all!

The Bridgeview Trolls are a collection of 18+ quirky art installations hidden in plain view along the hiking path that started appearing in the autumn of 2020. You can check out the Bridgeview Trail Troll Facebook Page for more details about the inspiration behind each one. More of these darling art installations are planned to be added in the future and some are removed or damaged by weather, animals, and humans.

There is also a handy map, frequently updated, which we printed out and brought with us. There are occasionally maps available in the little plastic box on the trail sign at the switchback near the beginning of the trail, however it was empty when we went. I highly recommend printing a map since these shy little trolls blend in quite well with the forest.

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Bridgeview Trail Troll
Mr. Papadapolous wasn’t too difficult to find and was a favorite of my four-year old | Photo: Julie Herson

Bridgeview Trail for Kids of All Ages

The 1.4 mile out and back hike is mostly flat and approachable for children ages 5+. There are fairly steep and uneven stairs on the Monterey Blvd. entrance, and many steep edges along the trail that aren’t fenced off. My two-year old absolutely adored discovering the hidden trolls, but she was unsteady on her feet with lots of tripping and falling. I carried her for a lot of the hike, and the stairs were a no-go. Strollers are also a no-go, so for smaller children you may want to bring a backpack carrier if you’re going to give it a try.

My four-year old was fine for almost the entire adventure, but lagged towards the end (he did ask to go back again as soon as we got home though). My seven- and nine-year olds ran ahead to find all the trolls first. They were full-tilt leaning hard into the whimsical nature of the hike, and even brought swords to aid them in their troll hunt. It was so nice to be on a hike where all the kids were engaged and enjoying themselves.


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Big note about dogs: this is a popular path for dog walkers and hikers. Some dogs were not on leash. Keep that in mind if you have dog-sensitive children.

Bridgeview Trail Stairs
The stairs are steep and uneven. I had to schlep my two-year old up and down them. | Photo: Julie Herson

Oh and the swings! There are some somewhat rickety swings not too far past the upper stairs on the Monterey Blvd. entrance side. Older kids will love them. Younger kids will fall off of them (mine did). Don’t forget to look up too! There are two trolls watching over the area.

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Bridgeview Trail Swings
This swing is very tricky to sit on for little ones, so be careful. | Photo: Julie Herson

What to Bring On your Bridgeview Trail Troll Quest

  • Print out the Troll Map and carry it with you
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Backpack carrier for younger kids
  • Be prepared for no restrooms
  • Pretty much all in the shade, though a hat can never hurt
  • Water and snacks
  • Swords, just in case

The Bottom Line on Bridgeview Trail

If you’re looking for a fun and easy little hike with a dusting of magic to excite your kids to get out of the house, Bridgeview Trail is a terrific option. The anticipation of knowing there might be a troll waiting just around the bend makes the short hike much more than a boring old slog that mom is forcing everyone to take.

To avoid rickety steps, park at the Bridgeview Trailhead side and skip the stairs altogether (there are plenty of trolls to find before getting to the stairs if you go that way).

Due to limited parking on Bridgeview Drive, Monterey Boulevard is strongly encouraged for those able to handle stairs.

Bridgeview Trail Trolls
The bottom line…Ha! Larry the Plumber Troll was hands down the funniest troll. | Photo: Julie Herson

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13 thoughts on “Search for Trolls on Bridgeview Trail in Oakland”

  1. Does the person(s) who did this live in the area? Because this troll hunt has brought a ton of traffic to the area and has been a bitch to deal with. Tons of cars parking over night, trash, dogs and owners not picking up after them. This was a quiet area. Not anymore.

      1. Concerned neighbor

        You mean next door to the trail or on the opposite side of Montclair? The houses on Monterey are the ones being affected. This “art installation” should really be temporary, as a courtesy to the people who actually live here. Theft and high foot traffic, trash and dog feces is not fun to deal with.

    1. Margaret Sparks

      So sad for this change. I’ve heard this complaint for other attractions also.
      I was on this trail recently and it wasn’t as crowded as you described so there are times you can avoid crowds. It was fun.

  2. Concerned neighbors

    There is a difference between living on the other side of Montclair and on Monterey. The houses on Monterey are the ones being affected. Theft, trash, dog feces, high foot/car traffic and noise, especially on the weekend, is not fun to deal with. This troll hunt should really be temporary as a courtesy to the people who actually live here.

    1. God forbid the plebes who also live in this city and pay taxes for its resources come to enjoy your privileged little slice of heaven.

      1. Ok, well perhaps you’d like to post your neighborhood so people can come and dump their trash and feces and serenade you with constant noise. Then come back and post how much you enjoy it while paying your taxes. 😉

        1. Dimond Resident

          Hi, the craziness in the hills is not primarily caused by the trolls. Boredom and everything being closed brought a lot of crime and crowds to every East Bay park. There are people shooting targets on Skyline and robbing bicyclists of their ride at gunpoint on Grizzly Peak, to name a few recent incidents.

          Basically people suck and the pandemic distributed them around everywhere.

      2. I know, I bet these are the same conscious and unconscious virtue $ignalers that have those signs on their perfect front lawns, in front of their conspicuous and excessive homes, that say they welcome everyone, Coexist, BLM, etc… They’re all for “diversity” and as it’s not on or around their “domain”. #notsowoke #garbagehumans

  3. New art installation!

    So, does this have to be approved by the city? I mean, would I be able to spray paint a bunch of trash and throw it out there by the bridge and call it art? Asking for a friend.

  4. Well I live in the other end of the trail by Rocky’s market and can say that the car traffic and parking has drastically increased. I can no longer park in front of my own house due to this. Not sure how this is considered trolling when this “art project” is causing such an inconvenience for people who actually live here. I’ll be glad when they take those trolls down.

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