The American Idol winner popped the question during a mountain hike on Tuesday

By Steve Helling
September 26, 2017 03:25 PM
Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media

Scotty McCreery is engaged!

The country singer popped the question to his longtime girlfriend, Gabi Dugal, on Tuesday in the mountains of North Carolina.

Here’s how it went down: McCreery, 23, invited Dugal to go on a hike. When they reached the top of a mountain, McCreery dropped to one knee and asked Dugal to marry him. He gave her a ring that he helped design specifically for her. (Spoiler alert: she said yes.)

Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media
Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media

This engagement was a long time coming. The couple met in kindergarten while growing up in Garner, North Carolina. When they were young, Dugal used to write “Mrs. Gabi McCreery” — with a lot of hearts — in her diary. They began dating nearly six years ago during their senior year of high school.

McCreery, who won Season 10 of American Idol, has put Dugal in several of his videos, including “The Trouble with Girls,” “Feelin’ It,” and “Five More Minutes.”

“My fans instantly embraced Gabi once they learned we were dating and have always been loving towards her,” McCreery said in a statement to PEOPLE. “When she graduated college last year, many of them brought me gifts for her at my shows and book signings. I will always appreciate their kindness to her.”

Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media
Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media

Predictably, McCreery is overjoyed at the engagement.

“I’ve been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened,” McCreery said. “Gabi is the perfect girl and my true love, and I cannot wait to begin building our life together as husband and wife.”