Meet the Giants at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Mama Loumari, Little Nis, and Little Elina add a little adventure to the trails at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.

Photograph by Brittany Dexter

Are they the giants who live at the top of Jack’s beanstalk? Or maybe some kind of mountain trolls who got lost along the way to the Appalachians? Named Mama Loumari, Little Nis, and Little Elina, you can find this family of forest giants at the 16,137-acre Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky. Danish artist Thomas Dambo crafted the trio of woodland creatures from recycled regional wood to help Bernheim celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2019.

Before making the two-hour drive from Cincinnati, visit bernheim.org/forestgiants to watch Dambo read “While the Weather Got Better,” a chapter of his fairy tale about Isak Heartstone, the papa giant who lives in Breckenridge, Colorado. You can also download a map featuring the two-mile trail that’ll lead you to all three giants. While guests are invited to get up close to the trio during non-COVID times, to prevent damage to the sculptures, Bernheim asks visitors to refrain from climbing on Mama Loumari—who, of course, is expecting—and restrict their climbing to the hands and feet of her children, Little Nis and Little Elina.

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