“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
Welcome to Soudan Cottage. This modern, off-grid retreat combines private and secluded lake access featuring a state-of-the-art dock, two coves and a 300+ acre forest teeming with natural visual beauty and wildlife. Ten minutes from the charming, lakeside town of Clarksville, VA, and an hour's drive from Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, the cottage is ideal for a short sabbatical, a romantic weekend, or an outdoorsman's getaway. Best suited for one or two people, the cottage is able to sleep up to four with use of a cot and futon. If you'd like more time to read, talk, think and relax; if you cherish a brisk walk in the woods or a cool dip in a placid lake; if you seek a night sky full of stars and the sound of crickets, then you've found the right place. Soudan Cottage might be best understood by what it isn't. It isn't a place stocked with television sets, video games, telephones, stereos and computers. You can bring those things if you need them, but otherwise you'll have just the basics here, and maybe a little lower blood pressure.
The eco-friendly cottage, constructed in 2013 by contractor Steve Storm, mixes contemporary design and amenities with antique furnishings and Americana charm. Every inch of the 700 square feet is efficiently utilized with nothing wasted. Soudan Cottage was sited and designed with sustainability and a simpler, more relaxed existence in mind. Solar panels cover the southern roof line and store energy in hand made battery lockers. Ceramic tile floors throughout the downstairs kitchen, bath, and sitting area provide natural cooling in warm weather. Pine flooring in the upstairs bedroom/study offers comfort year round. In winter months, two wall mounted propane heaters -one in the bathroom- warm the entire cabin efficiently. A new air conditioning system was installed in 2018 which can be run during the day but may drain the batteries overnight. A backup generator can provide power if the sun is insufficient. It was situated to take advantage of prevailing summer breezes aided minimally by small fans. Cool night air can be circulated through the cottage's 13 windows via the upstairs ceiling fan.
The kitchen minimizes waste with an energy efficient refrigerator, and a propane powered oven and range. There is no microwave, toaster, blender or electric can opener.
Kitchen and bathroom water flows through a natural gravity system featuring a 100-gallon tank in the nearby pump house. An easy-to-read energy monitor in the kitchen displays how much solar power is stored, and how much is being transferred, so that usage can be managed smartly according to the time of day and the current weather conditions. The cottage utilizes a modern septic system and deep well.
The property, which includes 300+ acres of pine and mixed forest and more than 1000 feet of secluded shoreline access on Buggs Island Lake (Kerr Lake), is one of the largest lake forest tracts in the mid-atlantic region of the United States. Located five miles from the Lake Country regional airport in Mecklenburg County, VA, you can be casting a line into the renowned tournament fishing waters of Kerr Lake within minutes of landing. Hunters will find deer, turkey, rabbit, and other game abundant in the private forest and the adjoining Corp of Engineers easement land. And nature lovers in need of a respite from the city will enjoy seemingly endless natural trails ideal for hiking, cycling, or bird watching.
Come to the woods, 21st century style.