Located in Reading, Vermont, Jenne Farm is reputed to be New England's most photographed farm. Although it is easy to miss the Jenne Road turn-off from Route 106 when navigating to this private rural property 15 minutes south of Woodstock, Vermont, this photogenic scene is worth taking your time to find. If you're planning a trip to Vermont, especially in the fall, consider adding Jenne Farm to your itinerary.
Photographs of Jenne Farm have appeared on posters, postcards, calendars, and corporate reports, as well as on covers of magazines like Yankee and Vermont Life. The farm has also been featured in a Budweiser commercial and served as a setting for several Hollywood films including Forrest Gump and Funny Farm. More than 50 years after the first photographers discovered this picturesque setting, Jenne Farm is still a popular meet-up spot for camera clubs and the subject of contest-winning images.
Getting to Jenne Farm: Don't Miss the Dirt Road
What makes this somewhat remarkable is that this private farm, located on a dirt road, isn't exactly heavily promoted or on a well-traveled route. You'll need to pay close attention to avoid driving right past this idyllic New England farm. Use 1264 Jenne Road in Reading, Vermont, as your GPS address.
If you're traveling from Hanover or Lebanon, you can take U.S. Highway 4 from White River Junction to Woodstock, then turn south onto Vermont Highway 106 when you get to the green in the center of town. Jenne Road will be on your right-hand side in about eight miles, and you'll know you're getting close once you pass South Woodstock and the Vermont Horse Country Store. If you see Adventure Quest Drive or Caper Hill Road on your left-hand side, you'll know you've missed the turn.
Once you turn onto Jenne Road, there's a great view overlooking Jenne Farm about two-tenths of a mile in, but you can also continue driving closer to farm buildings—as long as you're respectful of the residents.
The History of Jenne Farm
It's the rural, authentic Americana aesthetic of the old red buildings, rolling hills, surrounding trees, dirt entrance road, and reflecting pond that make Jenne Farm so remarkably picturesque. Privately owned since it was first established—probably somewhere in the late 1800s or early 1900s—Jenne Farm remains a family-owned business.
According to one of the current owners of the farm, Floyd Jenne, the trend of photographing the Jenne Farm landscape began in the 1960s when a South Woodstock photography school workshop group discovered the location. After a few photographers entered images of the property into Time magazine photo contests, Jenne Farm quickly became known as a great place to take an artistic snapshot of New England country life.
Since the advent of digital photography, the popularity of this private farm among local and international photographers has only grown. As recently as 2017, one of the family co-owners of Jenne Farm reported that as many as 100 tourists are typically on the property on the busiest days of the year.
Despite the year-round crowds of hopeful photographers, Jenne Farm still operates today as an agricultural business and serves as a private residence for some members of the Jenne family. Keep this in mind if you hope to visit this beautiful destination on your trip to Vermont, and remember to be respectful of the people living on and working the land.
Tips for Photographing Jenne Farm
- While serious and amateur photographers find their way to Jenne Farm year-round, the most popular time of year to shoot this location is during the height of the fall foliage season (late September through mid-October).
- In the wintertime, the red-painted farm buildings are particularly attractive against a backdrop of sparkling white snow, but you'll need to get to the farm early if you want pictures of undisturbed snow dunes.
- It's a nice idea to purchase some maple syrup before you leave if it is available, since Jenne family descendants struggle to sustain the farm's aging buildings, according to Yankee magazine.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, bring plenty of snacks and water, and be courteous to the owners of the farm when you're on the property.
- Heading to the farm before sunrise or a few hours before sunset to catch "The Golden Hour" is your best bet for taking a beautifully lit photo any time of year. You may want to consider staying in a hotel near Jenne Farm to catch the day's first light.
- View #JenneFarm images on Instagram before you go for inspiration (and to check current foliage conditions in the fall).
- Other farms in the Woodstock area worth photographing include Sugarbush Farm, a maple and cheese farm with a nature trail and farm chapel; Billings Farm & Museum, a historic dairy with prize-winning Jersey cows; and Cloudland Farm, which was built entirely from wood harvested on the farm.