printer friendly page Scenic Vistas

Fairvue Farm.  Photo by Bet Zimmerman

Looking for a Few Good Scenic Vistas

The Woodstock Conservation Commission is collecting information about scenic vistas. These beautiful views not only promote the rural nature of our town, but also encourage open space preservation. If you have a favorite location, please email it to us at:

weslermd@yahoo.com or send it via mail to:
Conservation Commission, Woodstock Town Hall, 415 Route 169, Woodstock, CT 06281.

Please provide the location, and a description of the scenic area.  Thank you for taking the time to share this information with us!
(Privacy Policy: We do not share your name, e-mail, or telephone address with anyone outside of the Woodstock Conservation Commission).

Scenic Vistas in Woodstock

The current inhabitants of Woodstock, Connecticut are fortunate to have inherited many scenic vistas (see some photos below), five villages, 15 active dairy farms, Native American sites, miles of stone walls, fine old buildings from many periods of history, locally designated scenic roads, and a nationally designated scenic highway.  Woodstock is also included in the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor.  There is a sense of pride in the beauty of our town--both natural and made by humans. The year 2000 Study Circles Project involving over 250 town residents indicated there is overwhelming support to have it remain beautiful, open and green.

"Aesthetics" encompasses not only the appearance of a place, but how it "feels."  Exact definitions are difficult because of individual perceptions--each person has favorite view or special part in town.  Thus, it is challenging to define our visual assets, and develop a system to prioritize, preserve and conserve these areas. Mapping is one tool to help show where major viewsheds (scenic vistas), open space, historical areas, and potential greenways exist.

The Woodstock Conservation Commission's A Plan of Open Space and Conservation also made a number of recommendations to protect key aesthetic resources, both scenic vistas and key points of visual interest.  They can be achieved through collaboration with other town commissions, boards, and Woodstock residents; town ordinances; and educational programs for property owners and developers, and include the following:

  • Maintain old stonewalls along roadways.
  • Protect old growth and large trees along roadways and commons.
  • Seek designation of Routes 171 and 197 as Connecticut scenic roads.
  • Support the safe use of farm equipment, equestrian traffic, and horse drawn vehicles on our roadways.
  • Require new roads to encourage safety and control speed by maintaining natural contours, adopting appropriate rural road widths.
  • Encourage/require the use of aesthetically designed, environmentally acceptable guardrails, roadside safety devices and signage.
  • Require that utility lines be buried with all new construction along town and state scenic roads.
  • Provide for the location of wireless communication towers, antennas and similar facilities while protecting neighborhoods and minimizing the adverse visual and operational effects through careful design, siting, and screening.
  • Tie green spaces, some of the key aesthetic and historic resources, and passive recreation areas (swimming areas, picnic areas, and trails) together in a greenway system. 

We also want to continue to work in concert with neighboring communities, including the Quinebaug Shetucket Heritage Corridor, to "...preserve the natural, historic and cultural assets while its residents enjoy a qualify of life based on a strong healthy economy compatible with its character." (Source: QSHC 1997 Management Plan).

Photo by David Lee Volz

More Information and References:

  • Woodstock Conservation Commission, A Plan of Open Space and Conservation, adopted June 2001.
  • G.Leslie Sweetnam, Neighborhood Views, aerial photography
  • Stone wall photo by David Lee Volz
Conservation Commission
The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery when on a detour.

- Unknown