OP - you sound like my husband :)
I grew up in a very rural, agricultural area. I now live in a small town and have a weekend cottage in a remote area, which I consider to be the best of both worlds. As much as my husband fantasizes about being a gentleman farmer (he has never lived outside of a town) I will not go back to that lifestyle. It is great for some people but not for me anymore. A few things you might want to consider -
Location to services, shopping and schools - how far away are you willing to live? 1.5 hour round trips to the grocery store or doctor's office can be a real time sucker. The upside is in the northeast, you can still find rural areas close to towns.
Maintenance - who will take care of the big yard, plow the driveway, etc.? This was my job growing up and I hated it but I know people who love to ride the lawnmower for 4 hours at a time.
Commuting time for work - Think about how much commuting time (and cost) works for you and/or your partner.
As far as woodland goes, where you live will impact on what you can/should do with woodland.
I grew up (and still live) in the northeast and woodland needs only as much attention as the owner wants to provide, forest fires aren't a huge issue. I remember one, small fire in my 40+ years of living here and it was isolated to a very rural area and it didn't threaten any houses. Other areas of the US, like out west, the danger is very real.
I know plenty of people that do absolutely nothing with their woodland. Others harvest wood for heating, either to make money from selling it and/or for their own use. Allowing people to come on to your land to pick up fallen wood for firewood is one way to keep things "tidy." Timbering the land is another management method and quite common in my area, not clear cutting but selective timbering to maximize profits for the owners. This can have a very positive environment impact as thinning the forest allows new growth to occur and this can create very beneficial habitat for wildlife.
Another consideration is whether or not you will allow people to come on to your land to hunt. In my state, unless the land is posted to prohibit hunting, hunters can hunt on someone else's property. To "post or not to post" is a big issue in my area and causes strained relations with neighbors.
Concerning gardening and forested areas, you will likely battle critters who will view your garden as a buffet. Everyone who gardens in my area must have a fence to keep out deer, groundhogs, rabbits, etc.
Having chopped, split and stacked wood, I must admit it is not something I enjoy. After the first year, we now buy our wood so all I need to do is stack it and that still kicks my butt.
Even though I don't live that life anymore, part of me still wants to stay connected. I subscribe to Mother Earth News and I think that provides some great information about a more self sustained lifestyle.