Price: $4,449,900 (NEW LISTING 7/1/22)
Location: Yancey County (North of Asheville)
Detailed Property Information
- Heated Square Footage
- 2,938 heated s.f. on one level
- Year Built
- 1972; expanded in 2002
- # of Bedrooms
- Four bedrooms in Main House
One bedroom in Pond House
- # of Baths
- Four full in Main House
One in Pond House
- Overall Condition
- Excellent condition
- Approximately 344
- Surface Water
- 6,300+' on Nolichucky River plus numerous springs and creeks
- Small private pond
- Open Field/Pasture
- Three to four acres
- Nearest Interstate Highway
- 17+ miles, I-26
- Nearest Four Lane Road
- 13 miles, US 19E
- Nearest High Density Area
- 16 miles (Burnsville)
The Thomas Retreat is a one-of-a-kind property located approximately 50 minutes north of Asheville, NC in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. It is rare to find a property with so many features, so easily accessible yet so private. For decades, this 344 acre family compound has been a source of family fun and relaxation for the owners as they often removed themselves from their high stress professional lives in order to refresh their spirits in this unspoiled paradise.
An easy drive on state roads from Asheville or nearby Burnsville (25 minutes) with all its charm and daily services takes you to the Pisgah National Forest. Travel over the well maintained, easily drivable US Forest Service Road to your private gate, then enter into a world that few experience. There is something special about driving through a mile of forests to get to your destination as the tensions of the world slowly slip away and you enter into a place where time seems to stand still. No deadlines; no interruptions; no stress; just quiet relaxation where the biggest decisions of the day center around which fishing lure to use or what book to read in the hammock. This is The Thomas Retreat. Click here for a full video tour.
With approximately 344 acres in northern Yancey County home to the highest mountain peak east of the Rockies (Mt. Mitchell), this property is comprised of five parcels situated along the Nolichucky River on one side and the Pisgah National Forest on the other. The road basically ends here and you find yourself in total privacy. There are more than 6,300 feet of privately owned frontage on the Nolichucky River which is a well known river for fly fishing and float trips. As the river passes along the property, it is approximately 200 to 250 feet wide in places and much of the river at this point is gently flowing with shallow riffles, deep pools and modest rapids. Further downstream after passing the property, the river enters the Nolichucky Gorge, and that is where this river gets its reputation as one of the better white water rafting rivers on the eastern seaboard. From the opposite side of the river you’ll occasionally hear a train traveling down carrying its cargo to distant destinations. The low rumble and clacking of the wheels on steel track will take you back to a more simple time. Its a relaxing, almost reassuring sound that can lull you into sleep as you overlook the water from the River House.
The main compound of the property is situated on two of the five parcels approximately one half mile from the Forest Service Road. These two parcels comprise approximately 202 acres and feature the Main House and several supporting structures. The Main House was originally built around 1972 as a classic mountain lodge. In 2002, it was enlarged with a second great room and Master Suite and decking for outdoor entertaining. The exterior is finished in vertical board and batten with stone walls utilizing rock harvested from the property. In fact, much of the timber and millwork of the Main House was harvested and milled on site. Stepping inside, you are enwrapped within the soft glow of the woods including wormy Chestnut, Pecky Pine, Red Oak among others. Two large stone fireplaces, one with a wood stove are the focal points of not one but two very large living rooms. The ceilings are gently vaulted exposing large beams and timbers. On a warm day, this is a cool space, while on a chilly winter’s eve, the glow of the fireplaces and classic lighting seem to increase the warmth and coziness. Nowhere better to be sipping on hot cocoa under a blanket by the fire than in the Main Cabin on a winter’s day. Click here for an immersive 3D walk through of the Main Cabin.
The Main Cabin is all built on one level, meaning no staircases to navigate. There are four spacious bedrooms along with four full baths. The Master Suite is a large space with its own gas log fireplace and sitting area. Off to one side is a large screened porch lined with rocking chairs for watching the birds come and go outside. On the other side of the house you’ll find more than 3,200 square feet of spacious deck. Never before have we seen such a large expanse of deck space. This has been the scene of many large gatherings through the years such as a Millennium Celebration that hosted dozens of friends and families inside a large party tent set up on one section of the large deck.
To help feed such large groups, the owners built the “Refrigerator Shed” off to one side of the house. This is a 20′ by 12′ framed structure on concrete slab that is fully insulated and heated and cooled. Inside you’ll find a commercial sized Hobbart’s freezer and a separate Hobbart refrigerator along with a secondary refrigerator ideal for catered events.
Just above the Refrigerator Shed is the ATV Shed, another framed structure presently housing ATV’s and all manner of recreational equipment. Given this many acres and so many diverse pursuits, one needs space to house the equipment one should have in order to enjoy it all. Further uphill you’ll find the two story tree house. This structure stands approximately 30′ tall with multiple levels. Its a child’s dream castle in the treetops (or could it be a hunter’s ideal hunting blind?). Wildlife abounds at The Thomas Retreat including wild turkey, deer, bear, fox and of course fish in the river and pond.
Yes, this property boasts its own private pond. Created several years ago at the confluence of two streams within the property, this pond has been the site of both fishing and swimming outings. A large deck was built along one side for sunbathing and easy access to the deep end. Again, there isn’t a neighbor anywhere close by to infringe on your enjoyment at the pond, only the sound of the woods and water. A short walk below the pond brings you to a 20′ cascading waterfall and “sliding rock” which provide another fun place to splash around in ice cold mountain water.
Another surprise is the Meadow. The Meadow is a small clearing of approximately one and a half acres in the woods that has been used often times for shooting. A small equipment shed is located there and within is a shooting clay throwing machine. Just set it up in minutes and you can be practicing your skills shooting clays across the field. Or it could be used for long gun target practice. If that’s not your thing, the field is ideal for games of Frisbee or kicking around the soccer ball and such. It could even be used as a garden for those wanting to be self-sustaining. Its an ideal spot for a hidden garden as no one will ever bother it (except perhaps the deer).
Back at the main compound, is the Pond House. This is a unique structure positioned below the Main House for privacy. This is a very large wood framed structure over a gravel base with one side enclosed in screening. Upon stepping inside, you’ll immediately see the 42′ Forest River RV. This is a “fifth wheel” recreational vehicle of 2006 model year. It is completely enclosed within the Pond House structure, meaning it is protected from the elements. Inside you’ll find a full bath, bedroom, kitchen and spacious living area in the bump out. Fully hooked up to power, water and the septic system, this provides guests a private spot should they desire to be away from the Main Cabin.
A short drive from the Main Cabin one will find the River House. The Nolichucky River is truly the crown jewel of the property, and having such easy access to it is a huge plus. Additionally, it is in a very private setting with no other dwellings or structures anywhere in view, neither across the river, upstream or downstream. The River House is a 24′ x 24′ enclosed screened room under a metal roof with room for dining, sitting and storage on the interior. The ceiling is vaulted and in the middle is a wood burning stove to take off the chill from the early morning or evening. There are storage closets for fishing and paddling gear as well as a chemical toilet “water closet” for convenience and privacy. Power is supplied by a permanent generator housed in its own utility building approximately 300′ away to ensure the sound of its operation does not infringe on the sounds of the river.
From the deck of the River House you can overlook the Nolichucky and watch the occasional fishermen floating downstream in their shallow bottomed skiffs. Or just walk down and put your toes into the water for a swim. There is a nice calm swimming hole right out front. Or skip stones across the river, hop into an inner tube and float down more than a mile to the far end of the property and be picked up by a friend to return to the Main House. The River House is simply an ideal way to maximize one’s enjoyment of this part of the river.
On the far end of the 344 acres you’ll find the last parcel of the property. Access to this is over a private drive shared by just two long time residents who seldom venture out of their haven in the woods. Its almost like a fun overland expedition to this outpost crossing a few shallow streams and following alongside the Nolichucky River. Upon reaching the destination, you’ll find a farm house that dates back more than 100 years and was occupied as recently as the early 2000’s. This farm house, no longer occupied, sits in a small field just above the river and its own private six acre island. That’s right, this property includes its own private island along the river’s edge. The house could be rehabilitated back to habitable condition, and the fact that electrical service is to the property makes this even more doable. Imagine having an “outpost” of this nature on your estate. It could become a destination within the destination.
Connecting all these various points of interest over the 344 acres are several miles of well maintained interior roads. Customized “street signs” have been strategically placed here and there at intersections to guide folks easily from one spot to the next. You’d never get lost except in your mind as you forget about the world beyond the other side of the gate.
In summary, The Thomas Retreat is the opportunity for you to build your own memories and vision on the foundation of the owners who themselves have had countless family memories through the years. This is the ideal family retreat, hunting preserve, outdoor paradise or even safe haven bugout spot. It is turn key and ready for your enjoyment. Call us today for a private tour and click here for the full video tour. Please, only well qualified parties should inquire and advanced appointments are required for scheduling. Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to enter the property without permission.