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West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Balloch Park Fairy Trail

A local tree surgeon has created a whimsical walk full of carved tree stumps near Scotland's Loch Lomond. 

Patrick Muir, a local tree surgeon, has carved fairy houses and other fun things from the stumps of diseased trees within Balloch Castle Country Park in Balloch, Scotland. Using a chainsaw, he has created a variety of carvings ranging from a simple face to detailed fairy houses and a majestic dragon.

Hunting for the carvings makes for a fun, whimsical walk through the park. They’re scattered throughout the area, and each one even has its own brief, fictional back story. Some of Muir’s creations are easily visible from the main path that leads to the castle. A few others, however, are on more rural trails that require a bit of off-road exploration throughout the woods. A new carving can appear at any time, making it easy to spend hours in the park looking for new discoveries while also enjoying the castle, the views, and the beauty of Loch Lomond.

Muir began crafting his carvings after becoming tired of leaving boring stumps in the wake of the diseased and dying trees he felled. He began transforming the pieces of dead wood into mushrooms, though his two daughters eventually encouraged him to get more creative.

Know Before You Go

The Balloch Tourist Information Centre already has basic maps to help people find the carvings and the local council is working with the artist to make an official trail so people can follow it.