Fed-up residents of a gorgeous Vermont town have closed a road to visitors for fall to try and curb an influx of annoying influencers who’ve caused havoc.
Pomfret has long been a popular destination for autumn foliage fans – but irritated locals say influencers who’ve arrived to get perfect autumn images for social media are an altogether different breed of tourist.
Those Instagrammers and TikTokers have been accused of flying drones, blocking roads and emergency vehicles from getting through, while often getting their cars stuck on uneven ground.
The narrow, unpaved road (pictured) is clogged by photographers, tourists, and social media influencers in the peak season
They’ve also been seen setting up portable changing rooms, to make it look as if they’ve made multiple visits to the spot and drag out the fall-related content on their social media feeds.
The slew of irritating incidents has prompted residents close Cloudland Road between September 23 to October 15, when autumn colors begin to emerge.
Also closed-off is Sleepy Hollow Farm, whose sweeping vista is one of the most popular beauty shots for influencers.
It presents a gentle hill showing classic New England buildings and a riot of fall colors.
‘It was too much. Something had to be done,’ said Mike Doten, whose family has lived in the area and owned the farm since the late 1700s, according to the Boston Globe.
Vermont residents voted to close Cloudland Road in Pomfret (pictured) after annoying influencers flocked in to take selfies with fall foliage
The road (pictured) will be closed between September 23 to October 15, when autumn shades begin to take shape
Locals Mike Doten and Amy Robb live in Sleepy Hollow Farm, whose picturesque view has drawn huge crowds of tourists. The road has now been closed to try and deal with the deluge of annoying influencers
A new sign has been erected on a gate to Sleepy Hollow Farm warning people to keep out. The town has also voted to close a road for the entire fall season in a bid to tackle nuisance influencers
Cloudland Road and Doten’s farm had long been a favorite among those looking to quietly take in the changing season colors and view the rolling hills until the social media sensation took hold over the past five years.
Influencers parked haphazardly on the narrow, unpaved road and walked brazenly onto private properties appearing to ignore no trespassing signs conspicuously placed to ward off nuisance posers.
Residents of Vermont have been used to an influx of tourists, especially photographers, who are known to be ‘quiet’ and ‘not bother anyone,’ Doten said.
The inn-stayers are also bearable Doten’s wife Amy Robb said. ‘Both from a numbers perspective, and how they behave.’
‘The TikTokers started flocking here and they kept growing, year after year,’ Doten added to the outlet.
Those drawn by social media visited the area under the impression that it’s a public park, residents said.
Cloudland Road and Doten’s farm (pictured) had long been the favorite spot for leaf peepers
Problems started when the spot became a social media sensation and attracted hundreds of cars blocking the road
A few years ago, Doten and his wife were astonished when they watched a woman set up a portable changing booth and frequently emerge in an assortment of outfits to take selfies.
But the drama didn’t stop there with residents revealing that pesky tourists have now been flying drones a few feet over a resident’s head, stealing tomatoes from vines, and using a private garden house as a toilet.
‘There is no way a fire truck or an ambulance can get up this road in the middle of foliage season,’ Doten said. ‘It’s just too crowded.’
Pomfret residents successfully convinced the town to close Cloudland Road for three weeks.
They’ve also reached out to social media influencers and local inns to stop them promoting the area and directing tourists to other spots in Vermont instead.
Kiel James Patrick, a clothing designer with 132,000 Instagram followers, is one of those influencers contacted.
‘Upon being informed of the situation by the residents of Pomfret, I recognized the importance of respecting the wishes of the local community,’ he said.
‘In response, I’ve removed posts featuring Sleepy Hollow Farm from my platforms and communicated with friends and fellow influencers about the farm’s private nature and the need for privacy and respect,’ he added.
During the three week road closure, Windsor County Deputy Sheriffs will staff checkpoints at the bottom and top of Cloudland Road.
Residents said they don’t think the road closure will hurt the state’s tourism industry.