Things 2 Do

You’ve never stayed in an Airbnb like this

WILDWOOD, Ga. — While travelers will find thousands of properties across the southeast to rent on Airbnb, they won’t find many like the one that Ched Sharpless offers. He describes it as an Eco treedeck with cedar sleep pods that offer panoramic views. It sits on 22 acres in northwest Georgia.

“People come to (Canopy Treesort) to escape from the confines of normal everyday urban living,” Sharpless said. “As they pull into the driveway, they are transported to Mother Nature’s two bedrooms, one bath. The tranquil sounds, landscape and animals decompress the stresses of life back in the office.”

Sharpless, his wife and son lived in the Virgin Islands. They owned three restaurants. But when Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the area in 2017, they lost two of those restaurants to the storms. His wife and son escaped the islands to Wichita where she had family before the storms hit. Sharpless stayed behind. When he reunited with them several days later, they decided they wanted something different.

They jumped in the car and drove east. They passed by St. Louis, liked Nashville, but it was a little too big for their tastes and then they stumbled on Chattanooga. They had found their new home.

Sharpless bought the property that now houses the family’s Airbnb in June 2020.

“The land was totally raw,” Sharpless said. “I blazed a road in by hand that got us about 150 yards into the property. For the first month and a half, I camped on the raw piece of land with my dog Daisy. We would explore the land and plan potential build sites by marking different areas with tape and flags.”

He had a vision for building something unique in nature that gave the feeling of living outside but with all the creature comforts of home.

“I ran across a picture of a barrel sauna with a dome window at the end that gives an encompassing view of the outdoors,” he said. “I thought it was perfect for our concept and started researching how to build it. My family and I built it all from scratch over a 4-5 month span.”

The deck is attached to an American Birch and White Oak. The cedar pods are 84-inch round with a floor-to-ceiling dome window that looks down to Sand Mountain and up to the stars. It’s a low-impact, low-energy-consumption, water-sustainable glamping site.

“Our rain catchment system is top notch and the whole 2-bedroom 1-bath treedeck only uses 30 Amps of electricity,” he said. “I have aspirations to live off-the-grid and this project helped (to) get us pointed in the right direction.”

“The views of the sunset were amazing and we loved seeing the hang gliders soar in the sky above us,” one past visitor noted in a review. “We appreciated the eco-friendly, minimalist design of the entire treehouse canopy. The sleeping pods were really comfortable and we loved the views from inside the pods. Our kids didn’t miss TV or screens at all!”

“A very fun adventure: glamping, yes, but the cedar sleep pods make it a cozy, magical dream,” another reviewer noted.

“The best part about staying at this property is the true connection you feel to mother nature and all her various flaura and fauna” Sharpless noted. “There is an aura of peace and tranquility while in the sleep pods that relax the mind, body and soul. Disconnect from screens and re-connect with nature.”

Sharpless noted most weekends get booked, so if you’re interested in staying, try to find a time during the week to visit or plan ahead if you’re looking for a weekend stay. He has two other properties. Tranquil Studio is a rental on Lookout Mountain, while Peace on Port Lane is a rental on St. Thomas.

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