Leaf peepers stopped in their tracks on popular Pomfret Road

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:16 PM EDT
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WOODSTOCK, Vt. (WCAX) - One place where leaf peepers will not be going this fall is the famous Sleepy Hollow Farm in Pomfret.

It has been one week since Cloudland Road has been closed to all non-local traffic and residents who live along the rural road say the difference has been noticeable.

“It’s a bummer,” said Cori Johnson of California, who brought his mother to see the Sleepy Hollow Farm. But a road-closed sign stopped them in their tracks. “Maybe they could do a reservation system or something where people can just drive by, because that is all we were going to do. We weren’t planning to stop or anything, we just wanted to see it because it looks beautiful.”

The property has been a much sought-after tourism destination in recent years thanks in large part to social media. It is arguably Vermont’s most photographed private home.

“That was our biggest thing that we wanted to do was go to Sleepy Hollow. I mean you win some, you lose some,” said Kelli Jenkins of Alabama.

“A little bummed out because the pictures are so great and it looks beautiful, but we’ve seen so many really pretty things around here that I don’t feel like we missed out,” said Maleny Zabala of Texas.

Increasing tourism traffic on the road forced the towns of Woodstock and Pomfret to limit access for three weeks during peak foliage. Local residents say people were getting out of their cars, blocking emergency access, and trespassing on neighboring properties.

“At the end of the day, we want people to come to Vermont,” said Windsor County Sheriff Ryan Palmer, who is now patrolling the area on a regular basis. “We want them to enjoy the scenery, we want them to shop and enjoy their time here, but we are also asking people, please, just be respectful.”

The quiet is a welcome sound to residents, who declined to speak on camera, citing unwanted national media attention surrounding the closure.

Thankfully, out-of-towners say there is plenty to look at on pretty much any back road in Vermont. “You all have so much to offer, it’s ok,” Jenkins said.

“I feel like everywhere you turn it is just so pretty,” added Zabala.

Anyone needing help finding those beautiful fall foliage spots across the region is encouraged to go to the Woodstock Welcome Center.

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Sleepy Hollow Farm off limits during foliage season