As if the forest-covered canyons and rust-coloured cliffs of the world-famous Cabot Trail weren’t enough, there’s now one more reason to visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park—its newly installed cocoon tent.
Tucked in the forest near Igonish Beach, the white spherical tent is anchored to trees by tight wires and hangs six metres from the ground.
“The fact that it’s suspended gives you the feeling that you are swaying in the trees,” visitor experience manager Kelly Deveaux told CBC News. And if that isn’t enough to lull you to sleep, the sound of the waves crashing on the nearby beach surely will be.
The tent can be found on a secluded campsite at the end of a winding path, just minutes from the ocean.
“It’s a very private location. It’s quite enchanting,” Deveaux said.
For easy access, the park built a steep set of wooden stairs that lead to the zippered door, just like one you’d find on a traditional tent. There’s also two other zippered hatches, which act as open-air windows. Like other tents, its thin canvas walls provide little insulation, so it’s important to dress in layers. Campers are also required to supply their own bedding.
The real difference is that you don’t have to contend with the hard, lumpy ground. Covering the base of the tent is a thick mattress, which Deveaux says is “very soft and comfortable.”
The tent is large enough to sleep four, and is available for rent starting July 1st. Campers can reserve it for $75 a night by calling Cape Breton Highlands National Park. If enough people show interest in this cocoon tent, we could see more popping up in our national parks in the future.
“We’re looking for new ways for Canadians to connect with nature,” Deveaux told Family Fun Canada.
The cocoon tent is just one of many unique camping set-ups in the Parks Canada network. There are also yurts, teepees, and the recently introduced O-Tentik huts, tent-cabin hybrids that are now found in more than 20 parks across the country.