Pooping Influencers Just Ruined Your Fall Trip To Vermont (No, Seriously)

Vermont — especially during fall — seems to be plucked right out of a storybook. With dense foliage that transitions into a mosaic of burnt oranges, fiery reds, golden yellows, and rolling hills covered in farmhouses, it sets the scene for a perfect escape. When it comes to capturing memories, the combination of these hues against the serene backdrop of Vermont's landscapes can leave anyone spellbound.

However, so much beauty does come with its own set of complications. With a high influx of yearly visitors in search of that idyllic autumnal scene — many armed with cameras and smartphones — small towns like Pomfret become inundated with outsiders. And while some visitors don't see the harm in chasing that perfect fall snapshot for their Instagram or TikTok feed, locals have officially had enough.

So much so, that the town has gone as far as actually banning visitors from stopping by. Closing off the popular Cloudland Road to all incoming traffic starting from September 23rd all the way to October 15th, the board of Pomfret has officially put a stop to uncontrolled tourism — and it's all thanks to social media influencers who seem to have forgotten basic etiquette. Whether it's blocking roads with their photography equipment, frequently changing outfits in the middle of pathways, and — shockingly — even going "number two" on private property, enough is finally enough.

Your Instagram picture isn't worth a lawsuit

At the heart of this digital pilgrimage is Sleepy Hollow Farm. A site revered by influencers — the hashtag #sleepyhollowfarm has been used thousands of times on Instagram alone — there are countless videos that highlight the beauty of this destination and encourage others to hit it up as well. The catch? The farm is private property, and setting foot on it without permission isn't just disrespectful — it's actually a criminal offense.

But the antics don't stop at trespassing (or pooping). Influencers and visitors — in a bid to get that "perfect shot" — have been wreaking havoc on the safety and peace of Pomfret residents. According to interviews with the locals, the long lines of traffic from people wanting to take a photo have gone as far as inadvertently blocking emergency vehicles from using the road, which ultimately puts the lives of everyone at risk. With that, coupled with the fact that many visitors have been in their own fair share of accidents — including getting towed out of ditches — and had not-so-pleasant run-ins with the neighbors, the disrespect finally peaked.

In fact, the people of Pomfret have also gone as far as creating a dedicated GoFundMe in order to, in their own words, "Save Cloudland Road" by hiring security to control road closures and increase safety signage.

Exploring everything else Vermont has to offer

While the allure of Sleepy Hollow Farm is undeniable, there are plenty of other attractions in the Green Mountain State that won't land you in hot water with the authorities — or the locals. From taking one of the most scenic drives in Vermont to hiking along the picturesque Lamoille Valley Rail Trail or sipping on a cider slushie at Hackett's Orchard, in South Hero, your autumn visit to New England doesn't have to be entirely "ruined" by these new restrictions.

In fact, the quirky Vermont town of Brattleboro, nestled along the Connecticut River, also offers the perfect blend of history and modern charm. With its eclectic art galleries, vintage bookstores, and even a hearty dose of live music venues and local craft breweries, it's an autumn destination that shouldn't be overlooked. Alternatively, you can also head over to Stowe, a quaint town nestled in the mountains that offers a delightful blend of fall activities. Once there, you can even embark on a foliage gondola ride up Mt. Mansfield — the state's highest peak — and enjoy panoramic views of the vibrant fall colors.