Photographing Jenne Farm in Vermont

Jenne Farm Winter Scene
© 2015 Kim Knox Beckius

Located in Reading, Vermont, Jenne Farm is reputed to be New England's most photographed farm. Although it's easy to miss the Jenne Road turn-off from Route 106 when navigating to this private rural property 15 minutes south of Woodstock, Vermont, the breathtaking views at Jenne's Farm are worth taking your time to find.

Photographs of Jenne Farm have appeared on posters, postcards, calendars, and corporate reports as well as 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 productions 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, a routine destination for weddings photographers, and the subject of contest-winning images. If you're planning a trip to Vermont, especially in the fall, consider adding Jenne Farm to your itinerary.

The History of Jenne Farm

One facet of Jenne Farm that makes it so remarkably photogenetic is the rural, authentic Americana aesthetic of the old buildings, rolling hills covered in crops, and pastures filled with roaming livestock. Privately owned since it was first established—probably somewhere in the late 1800s or early 1900s—Jenne Farm has been a family-owned business for over 50 years, at least.

According to one of the current owners of the farm, Floyd Jenne, the trend of photographing the picturesque landscape of Jenne Farm began in the 1960s when a South Woodstock photography school workshop group discovered the location. After a few photographers entered photographs of the property into Time magazine photo contests, Jenne Farm quickly became known as a great place to take an artistic snapshot of American life.

Since the 2000s, though, the popularity of this private farm among local and international photographers has only grown. As recent as 2017, one of the ten family co-owners of Jenne Farm reported that as many as 100 tourists would be on the property on the busiest days of the year.

Despite the year-round crowds of hopeful photographers, Jenne Farm still operates today as a fully-functioning 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 remote, beautiful destination on your trip to Vermont and remember to be respectful of the people living and working on the land.

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. As a result, you'll need to pay close attention to directions while driving there. Jenne Farm is located at 1264 Jenne Road in Reading, Vermont.

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—an oblong roundabout surrounding a public park.

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, the Vermont Horse Country Store, and the Green Mountain Horse Association. It's easy to miss this dirt road, but you'll know you've gone too far if you see Adventure Quest Drive or Caper Hill Road on your left-hand side.

Once you turn onto Jenne Road, there's a great view overlooking Jenne Farm about two-tenths of a mile along the way, but you can also continue driving right onto the property—as long as you're respectful of the residents.

Tips for Photographing Jenne Farm

  • While photographers have started coming to Jenne Farm in droves year-round, the most popular time of year for photographers to visit this beautiful location is during the height of the fall foliage season (late September to early 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 syrup before you leave if it is available since the 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" of lighting is your best bet for taking a quality photo any time of year. You may want to consider staying in a hotel near Jenne Farm to beat the morning rush.
  • Other farms in the Woodstock area that are great for 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.