Social Media Influencers Prompt Road Closure in Vermont Town Due to Overcrowding and Misbehavior

by Ryan Lee
Vermont Road Closure Due to Social Media Influencers

For those social media aficionados seeking the perfect autumnal photograph, one famed Vermont location is now off-limits. The town has imposed a temporary ban on nonresident access to the road, citing overcrowding issues and disruptive tourist behavior.

The unpaved road that stretches between Pomfret and Woodstock, which encompasses the often-photographed Sleepy Hollow Farm, will be restricted to residents alone until mid-October. Local authorities intend to actively enforce the ban.

Over the years, the narrow road has been inundated by photographers and social media enthusiasts aiming to capture the quintessential fall foliage image of the picturesque private property. The location’s vibrant trees, traditional New England homestead, and barn have become key attractions.

While community members acknowledge the appeal of the stunning scenery, they lament that some tourists have overstepped boundaries. Reports include hindrances such as illegally parked cars that impede both local traffic and emergency vehicles, as well as picnickers and individuals trespassing on the private lands that surround the property. One individual even used Instagram to guide followers on circumventing the property’s gated entry, which is monitored by surveillance cameras.

Organizers of a crowdfunding campaign named “Save Cloudland Road” have stated, “Irresponsible tourists have led to road damage, accidents, the need for vehicle towing, property trespassing, parking on private lands and driveways, and even verbal abuse of residents.”

Local resident Nancy Bassett remarked, “It’s regrettable because it ruins the experience for many others.”

This phenomenon of overcrowding due to social media promotion is not unique to Vermont; it has been observed globally. Locations from Parisian streets to Californian towns have experienced similar issues. For instance, the city of Lake Elsinore in California was overwhelmed with visitors during a ‘super bloom’ of wild poppies, resulting in habitat destruction and massive traffic congestion. Consequently, local officials had to restrict access to affected areas.

To manage the problem, some locations have implemented control measures. Zion National Park in Utah, for example, now requires hikers to obtain permits for its popular Angels Landing trail.

In the case of the Vermont road, the Pomfret Select Board issued a community statement, noting that the upsurge in seasonal tourism on private properties has caused “notable concerns regarding safety, environmental impact, aesthetics, and residents’ quality of life.”

Public reaction to the closure has been mixed. While some argue that social media has “ruined” once-hidden spots, others advise tourists to enjoy Vermont’s natural beauty responsibly.

To alleviate the issue, signs prohibiting parking and photography have been erected along the Cloudland Road property, and a no-trespassing sign has been placed at the gate. Local authorities are urging tourists to visit alternative locations equipped with suitable parking and amenities.

Linda Arbuckle, a clerk at a local general store, summed it up: “We appreciate that people come for the foliage, but some have taken their actions to an unacceptable level, including having meals on residents’ porches without permission.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vermont Road Closure Due to Social Media Influencers

What prompted the temporary road closure in the Vermont town?

The temporary closure of the road between Pomfret and Woodstock in Vermont was initiated due to overcrowding and disruptive behavior by tourists, primarily social media influencers. These individuals were flooding the area to capture photographs of Sleepy Hollow Farm and its scenic surroundings, causing congestion and other problems for local residents.

Who is enforcing the road closure and for how long will it last?

The local law enforcement agencies will be actively enforcing the road closure. The road is expected to remain closed to nonresidents until mid-October.

What kind of disruptive behaviors have been reported?

Disruptive behaviors include illegal parking that blocks traffic and access for emergency vehicles, picnicking on private lands, trespassing, and even instances of individuals relieving themselves on private property. Verbal abuse towards residents has also been reported.

Are there similar instances of such overcrowding at other locations?

Yes, overcrowding driven by social media posts is a global issue, affecting diverse locales from Parisian streets to the small city of Lake Elsinore in California, which experienced a surge in tourism during a ‘super bloom’ of wildflowers.

What measures are other locations taking to deal with overcrowding?

Other locations have implemented various control measures to manage overcrowding. For example, Zion National Park in Utah now requires hikers to obtain permits for its popular Angels Landing trail.

How has the public reacted to the road closure?

Public reaction to the closure has been mixed. Some people feel that social media has ruined many once-quiet spots by popularizing them, while others advise visitors to act responsibly and enjoy Vermont’s natural beauty without disrupting local life.

What alternative solutions are being offered for tourists?

Local authorities are encouraging tourists to visit nearby attractions that are better equipped to handle crowds, offering amenities like parking.

Are there any penalties for violating the road closure?

The article states that local law enforcement plans to enforce the road closure, but it does not specify the exact penalties for violations. However, it can be assumed that violators could be ticketed, towed, or potentially face other legal repercussions.

What steps has the community taken to alert people about the closure?

Signs prohibiting parking and photography have been erected along Cloudland Road. Additionally, a no-trespassing sign has been placed at the entrance gate to the private property.

What is the “Save Cloudland Road” GoFundMe campaign about?

The “Save Cloudland Road” GoFundMe campaign has been organized to raise awareness about the irresponsible tourist behavior and its detrimental impact on the community. It cites instances of road damage, accidents, property trespassing, and verbal abuse of residents among the issues.

More about Vermont Road Closure Due to Social Media Influencers

  • Overcrowding at Tourist Destinations: A Global Issue
  • Social Media’s Impact on Tourism
  • Vermont Tourism Official Website
  • Pomfret Town Official Statement on Road Closure
  • Save Cloudland Road GoFundMe Campaign
  • Zion National Park’s Permit System for Angels Landing
  • Lake Elsinore Overwhelmed by “Super Bloom” Visitors
  • Responsible Tourism Guidelines
  • Effects of Social Media on Local Communities

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PolicyDebater September 26, 2023 - 2:28 pm

Maybe it’s time to discuss some sort of ‘tourist tax’ to help maintain these places? Just a thought.

CuriousReader September 26, 2023 - 4:13 pm

Great article! But what are the actual penalties for trespassing? Wish it was mentioned.

JohnDoe89 September 26, 2023 - 5:39 pm

Wow, can’t believe it’s gotten this bad. People need to learn some respect. You can’t just go around messing up other people’s properties.

PhotogLife September 26, 2023 - 10:59 pm

As a photographer, I get the lure, but there’s a line ppl. Don’t cross it and ruin it for everyone else.

TravelLover September 26, 2023 - 11:06 pm

Honestly, social media is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great for discovering new places but man, it’s ruining the once-hidden gems.

VermontNative September 26, 2023 - 11:42 pm

This is why we cant have nice things. Now even us locals can’t enjoy the peace and quiet of our own roads.

Momof3 September 27, 2023 - 4:20 am

Very sad for families who live there. Imagine finding strangers on your porch? So invasive!

RealEstateMaven September 27, 2023 - 8:21 am

Wonder what this does for property values. Probably not a selling point to have crowds of people descending on your quiet street.

DailyCommuter September 27, 2023 - 9:14 am

the traffic snarls caused by this are a nightmare. Glad they’re finally doing something about it.

EcoWarrior September 27, 2023 - 9:22 am

The environmental impact is also concerning. If you love a place, respect it. don’t destroy it!


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