Treetop Ekne: Up in the air – a higher sense of self
By Andri Papanicolas | Photos: Katrine Ingebrigtsen
Imagine yourself floating in the air, engulfed by a thriving forest canopy and surrounded by wild animals. The sound of nature awakens a part of you that you thought you’d lost. This is a place where fairytales come to life. This is Treetop Ekne.
In a 100-year-old forest in Trøndelag, Norway, is a village unlike any other. It is a treetop village that consists of various cabins, a tipi and hover-tents. The camp has been 14 years in the making and is today visited by people from all around the world.
What makes it so unique is that the married couple Katrine Ingebrigtsen and Johannes Skilbrigt have built the village around nature, instead of altering or invading it. “A fire, candle lights and the forest gives you peace of mind. It is a special kind of magic,” Katrine says.
The passionate founders of Treetop Ekne have spent many years travelling to the far corners of the world to learn about new cultures and different ways of life. “On my travels, the definition of a good place always included a hammock. I love the feeling of hanging up in the air,” she says. The couple decided to bring that feeling back to Norway, and started to rent out hover-tents in the old forest. This was the beginning of the treetop village in Ekne.
Find the place for you
A hover-tent is a tent that is secured by ropes and suspended a couple of metres up in the air. The ropes are tight and are normally attached to three trees, which makes a triangle shape. There is a hatch on the floor with a ladder to the ground.
At Treetop Ekne, you can rent a hover-tent and listen to the sounds of nature with a bird’s-eye-view over the forest. You might hear a deer early in the morning, or see the furry squirrels getting on with their day. Johannes and Katrine explain that children find it magical and liberating to stay at the treetop village. “Kids love to be here. They run around and play with sticks all day,” Johannes says.
If the thought of spending the night hanging in the air makes you feel dizzy, then ‘the cabin on the hillside’ is an ideal alternative. The cabin is located at the forest’s edge with a stunning view over the Trondheimsfjord. The cabin has panoramic windows and sleeps six people. And there is of course a place to hang; you can drink your morning coffee in the built-in net hanging off the cliff overlooking the fjord.
If the deep sense of calm lures you to nature, then ‘the cabin in the woods’ is the perfect match for you. Amongst the treetop village, you will find a unique cabin built on poles, three metres up in the air, connected via a suspension bridge to another platform with a fire pit and seating. In the cabin, you will find another fireplace, kitchen and room for three to four people. On the terrace, you can enjoy a quiet morning reading a book in the hanging net.
If you don’t like to hang in the air but simply want to hang out, then Treetop Ekne also offers a glamping tipi. Stay grounded and bring the family together around the bonfire and forested seating circles.
“We are determined to deliver on quality and simplicity. It should be easy to stay here. Our main goal getting into this was to make it as accessible as possible to anyone,” Johannes says. Accommodation at Treetop Ekne can be booked by couples, families, bigger groups and business trips.
What to do and where to find it
In the summer you can spend your days at the lake. You can try SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) and get lessons from Katrine, who is ISA-certified and teaches classes of up to eight people. You can take the boat, fish for trout, and cook them over the fire the same day. Another popular activity is renting a kayak or going hiking. If you’re lucky, in the winter you might see the aurora borealis dancing in the night sky.
The treetop village is located in Ekne, Levanger municipality in Trøndelag county. It’s located just 1.5 kilometres from the E6 (Europe Road), 30 minutes from Trondheim airport, and five kilometres from the nearest train station, Ronglan. Johannes and Katrine are happy to help you get to the campsite.
“We love what we created, and we love bringing people together and making them feel like a part of the community. It is a great feeling to show people nature and all the good it brings,” they say. Are you ready for your Norwegian forest fairytale?
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