Residents in This Vermont Town Want to Ban Some Leaf-peeping Tourists

The small town of Pomfret, Vermont, which is close to Woodstock, closed several roads due to “extraordinary tourism interest in private properties.”

<p>Courtesy of Getty Images </p> Woodstock, Vermont

Courtesy of Getty Images

Woodstock, Vermont

A town in Vermont known for its gorgeous leaf-peeping has closed several roads after complaints about being overrun by tourists looking for the perfect fall foliage photo.

The small town of Pomfret, Vermont, which is close to Woodstock, closed several roads due to “extraordinary tourism interest in private properties,” according to a memo. The closures prohibit vehicle traffic from Sept. 23 through Oct. 15.

Foliage season traffic in this area has steadily increased during the last several years, causing significant safety, environmental, aesthetic, and quality of life issues,” the town wrote in the memo. “The steps… are part of a comprehensive effort, in coordination with area residents, to address these issues on the ground, through dialogue with local government partners, and on social and other information media.”

One private residence in the town, called Sleepy Hollow Farm, is particularly swarmed by travelers hoping to capture the picture-perfect rolling hills, quaint farmhouse look, and vibrant colors synonymous with fall in New England.

Eric Duffy, the municipal manager for the town and village of Woodstock, told Travel + Leisure tourists were welcome in the area, but hoped they’d be more respectful of private property.

“One of the appeals of Vermont is the foliage and we all understand that. The big thing for us is to appreciate the difference between a private home and a public space — there’s plenty of places you can go and enjoy [the views],” Duffy said. “Treat someone’s home the way you want them to treat your home, that’s sort of the golden rule and that’s all we ask for.”

Duffy said there are a multitude of public spaces where travelers can capture the best fall has to offer from Mount Tom and the Billings Farm and Museum to Woodstock’s East End Park and the covered bridge right in town.

“Woodstock is open for tourists. We want everyone to come to Woodstock and enjoy everything Woodstock has to offer,” Duffy said. “In the village of Woodstock itself, we have a very historic downtown where you can sit outside… and look at the foliage around you.”

Travelers can even go for a scenic drive along Route 4, Route 100, or Route 12.

“It’s beautiful now and it’s only going to be better when the leaves are changing,” Duffy said.

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