Location: Eagle, Wisconsin, USA [MAP]
Designer: August J. Pabst (Client)
Project Type: Natural Wonder, Ruins
Completion Date: 1930’s
Access: Via nearest city Eagle, WI take south Rt. 59 to County Road N where you will see the entrance to Paradise Springs Nature Trail.
Set in the beautiful nature reserve of south Kettle Moraine, the Paradise Springs Nature Trail features a history dating back to the mid 1800’s where the natural spring water was enjoyed for drinking purposes(1). Walking along the trail brings you from the road into an area that was no more than 50 years ago used by humans on a daily basis. Though many of the buildings (including a hotel, spring house, pavilion and bottling plant) have fallen into ruin or been completely removed, the nature that was once held at bay for human habitation has reclaimed the site in a beautifully extravagant way.
As you follow the small brook that leads you through the woods, it is not long until you come upon a clearing that boasts a small, crystal clear pond no more than 5 feet (1.5 metres) deep.
The pond leads you straight to one of the few remaining structures on site, the spring house. Though the roof and windows have all but vanished, the stone structure still continues to stand, remaining a stunning, visually iconic piece to the site. The spring house was built to protect the source of the spring, while also allowing access for visitors(2).
The most refreshing part of the experience Paradise Springs provides is the seamless combination of dereliction and natural landscape. Though only inhabited a short while ago, the complete abandonment of the site allowed for the surrounding forest to reclaim what was once lost to create a beautiful balance between humans and nature.
© The Secret Garden Atlas, 2013