From New York to Old Hills

The Engels Make French Broad Crossing Home

A journey that would take them some 440 miles south, across a half dozen states, began with a simple Google search. That’s the short version of how George Engel ended up in Marshall, North Carolina by way of Long Island, New York. The longer, and more compelling, version is the story of a quest to find the perfect mountain vacation home, a story whose origins began years earlier. “I had always discussed having a home by the coast and a home in the mountains,” says George, “because I love them both, and I want my three children to be exposed to the joys of each growing up.”

Indeed, having grown up in Long Island, spending equal time at the beach and the Adirondacks, the Engel family has grown accustomed to balancing these two enticing, if quite different, geographical settings. “My goal has always been to have a home in Florida by the beach,” says George, “and a mountain home somewhere along the east coast. Of course, Upstate New York is a long haul so I chose the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.”

Ancient Hills, Timeless Beauty

The fact that there are so many similarities between the mountains of North Carolina and Upstate New York made the choice rather easy. After all, both are surrounded by ancient hills, well worn through the passage of time, their peaks softened and rounded-over from the sharper edges they possessed several millennia ago. Much of the vegetation (poplars, pines, rhododendron, and mountain laurel) and game (black bear, whitetail deer, wild turkey, and river trout) are indigenous to both locales. “The commonalities between the mountains of North Carolina and those of Upstate New York are striking,” says George. “Not just the geography, but the southern family values and friendliness that we encountered. I felt an immediate connection. Plus, the winters are a little milder down south which is nice for hiking and being outdoors, which I love.”

“The Perfect Community for my Children”

Beyond the similarities between Upstate New York and Western North Carolina, are distinct enticements that only the Tar Heel state can boast. The climate is more suitable to year-round outdoor recreation; the majestic French Broad River is one of the ancient natural wonders of the world; the Blue Ridge Parkway is perhaps the nation’s most scenic highway; and then there’s Asheville—a hip, inviting, culturally sophisticated town that is an epicenter for dining, shopping, nightlife, yet magically surrounded by miles of pristine wilderness. As the Engels quickly realized, French Broad Crossing grants homeowners the best of both of these worlds: a private mountain haven set within carefully preserved landscape, and easy access to the cultural sights and sounds of downtown Asheville, just a short drive away. “I looked at a lot of places along the east coast,” says George, “and French Broad Crossing really won me over because of its gorgeous mountain setting—right on the French Broad River—and because of its proximity to such a dynamic city. I think it’s perfect for my family to have access to both nature and culture.” 

A Preserved Community for the Ages

One of the deciding factors for George purchasing a homesite at French Broad Crossing was the fact that the community is held in conservation by the Southeast Regional Land Conservancy. That means the community and surrounding land will be preserved, as is, for generations to come. In short, it will keep the outside world from creeping in and compromising the natural beauty that makes French Broad Crossing so enticing. “I love the natural setting here,” says George, “and the fact that the homesites are so vast and private. I selected a wooded lot that has beautiful, 180° layered views of the rolling hills and ridgeline. It’s breathtaking. And best of all, I know that it will be preserved for my kids in the years to come.”

Schedule a Personal Tour

To learn more about the living experience at French Broad Crossing, please contact our sales office at or call us at 866-947-9629.


A New Legacy Can Begin Today

Come discover one of the best mountain communities in North Carolina near Asheville, offering homeowners access to an unprecedented living experience on the French Broad River. Look out across the river to gorgeous mountain views. Spend an afternoon with friends and family at our inviting River Lodge. This is where you belong. Your new legacy can begin now.