Woodhaven is the name given to our home in the Nicolet National Forest of northeastern Wisconsin. Objectively, it is 72 acres of land of various description, including: 42 acres of mixed hardwood forest, 13 acres of pine plantation, 2 acres of oak, maple, and walnut plantation, and 15 acres of open grassland. A state recreational trail bisects the land and the house overlooks a picturesque 7 acre lake. Our home is located within the 661,400 acre Nicolet National Forest. From our property, we can walk all the way to Lake Superior without getting off public land – a distance of approx. 170 miles.
Subjectively, Woodhaven is much more than its physical description. Otherwise, why grace it with a proper name? The name Woodhaven refers back to my childhood neighborhood. One of those rare places that provides an almost mystical (no, actually it was mystical) environment for a group of kids to grow up in. One of us should have written about it by now. Perhaps, we’ll explore that Woodhaven in the future.
Modern day Woodhaven is like a small kingdom for us. It even seems fortified – hidden from the main roads within the forest; the driveway protected on both sides by conifers that stand like sentinels. The original part of the house is a 1939 Sears and Roebuck bungalow kit home that was delivered to its destination on the railroad tracks that serviced the logging industry in those days. The railroad track is now the recreation trail that passes through Woodhaven. And like castles built on the shores of lakes during the medieval period, the Woodhaven house stands guard over a small woodland lake – our own Walden’s Pond.