Kjetil Bentsen is known as the «father» of Trollpikken, but even he would not have believed that the attention around the phallus-shaped rock would be as great as it has become.
– The first time I saw it was in 2013. When one stands at the top of Kjervallsbakken, one can see a little of this stone that protrudes. I and a friend, Svein Bruno Kalhovd, were out hiking there and we agreed to explore further, says Bentsen.
Drawing Card on the Coastal Trail
In connection with the Dalane Kyststi (coastal trail) project in the fall of 2016, a proposal was made by Elisabeth Saupstad, director for Region Stavanger, to find a drawing card along the trail that could be attractive.
– I then proposed this new stone formation, a proposal that was received with great enthusiasm. Initially, this was only meant as a new viewpoint hike, similar to all the other viewpoint hikes in Egersund and Dalane. At that time, the stone had only some unofficial local nicknames.
Bentsen and his partner Johan Aakre conducted some inspections and started the process of promoting the latest attraction.
– In the spring of 2017, Eigersund municipality announced the opportunity to apply for extraordinary funds for tourism. Johan contacted the landowners and sought funds to build five parking spaces for hikers. It was in connection with this application that I came up with the name "Trollpikken" (the Troll phallus). It was a very suitable name for the rock, I think, since Trolltunga is already known. Some think the name is a little embarrassing, most people think it's festive, but just look at it - what else could it be called?, says Bentsen with a smile.
Selfie-favorite for 25,000
Although Trollpikken was not awarded funds from Eigersund municipality in its application, the case and the new name were picked up by the local newspaper Dalane Tidende. Then it took completely off, in both national and international media, especially when the stone was first cut off and then repaired after fundraising by the population. Trollpikken was visited by over 25,000 hikers in 2017.
– It's first and foremost a very nice walk, and then it's a fun gimmick too. Trollpikken does very well in these selfie times, for example on Instagram. I am very pleased that we have managed to create a big draw in a very interesting area that now has a record number of visitors. Now the Trollpikken Cooperative will make sure that even more people experience both Trollpikken and everything else Eigersund has to offer.
Trollpikken has also had great significance for Egersund during the past year, where, among others, places to dine can show a solid increase in the number of guests.
How to reach Trollpikken from downtown Egersund:
Follow highway Fv 42 from Egersund train station towards Krossmoen. After about 2 minutes, turn right onto Sletteidveien, signposted Trollpikken. Drive to the parking lot marked Trollpikken, about 3-4 minutes. Follow the marked trail.
It is also possible to go on the marked path to Trollpikken from Egersund city center. Walk up to the Water Pool and onwards over Veshovda and Mjølhusåsen (follow the «Opplev Dalane» trail). Remember the requirement for leashes on dogs.