Nova Scotia

Parks Canada introduces cocoon tent at Ingonish Beach site

The cocoon tent is one of five pilot projects at Parks Canada sites across Canada this summer.

Cocoon tent 'gives you the feeling you are swaying in the trees,' says park manager

Parks Canada has installed a cocoon tent at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It is about six metres from the ground. (Parks Canada)

It's round, swings from the trees and sleeps four. No, it's not a bird's nest, but you're close.

Parks Canada has installed a cocoon tent up in the trees at its Ingonish Beach site.

The cocoon tent allows campers to sleep under the stars at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, nestled among the trees and lulled by the sounds of waves on the beach, says visitor experience manager Kelly Deveaux.

"The fact that it's suspended gives you the feeling you are swaying in the trees," she said.

Suspended in trees

The tent is anchored with "very tight wires" to trees, and has a 2 1/2 metres in diameter "very soft and comfortable" mattress covering it, she said.

"To get into the cocoon, there is a steep set of wooden stairs that lead up to the front door, which is really like a zippered hatch," Deveaux said. "There's also two other hatches to act as open-air windows as well."

The cocoon is six metres off the ground.

This cosy cocoon tent is suspended from trees at Ingonish Beach in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. (Parks Canada)

Campers supply their own bedding and cooking equipment. A picnic table and campsite is located below.

Like other tents, there is no heating either, so bring layers, Deveaux said.

'Quite enchanting'

The cocoon is open for campers on July 1, and will be available for the summer season.

"It's a very private location. It's quite enchanting," Deveaux said.

"You follow a winding path up to the top of a hill, and you're hearing the waves at Ingonish Beach the whole time and there, suspended amongst the treetops, is the cocoon. It's quite private."

Renting the cocoon tent will cost campers $70 per night and it must be reserved in advance by calling Cape Breton Highlands National Park at 902-285-2535.

The cocoon tent is one of five pilot projects at Parks Canada sites across Canada this summer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Bradley is a journalist in Halifax.

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