Minnesota Outline with NE corner tan

Northeast State Parks

Bear Head Lake  |  Cascade River  |  George H. Crosby Manitou  |  Gooseberry Falls  |  Grand Portage  |  Hill Annex Mine  |  Jay Cooke  |  Judge CR Magney  |  Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine  |  McCarthy Beach  |  Moose Lake  |  Savanna Portage  |  Split Rock Lighthouse  |  Temperance River  |  Tettegouche

FIRST PLACE – Northeast State Parks


Lori Warne

at Temperance River State Park

Photographer’s notes

What brought you to this place?

We had visited Carlton Peak within Temperance State Park last summer for the first time, and were awestruck. We wanted to show our son while on our mini-fall trip.

When did you take the photo and what were the conditions like?

I took this photo on September 19, 2020 at 3:48 pm. It had been mostly sunny that day, so the presence of the clouds added to this shot.  It served as a filter; allowing just enough sunlight to filter through to add a softness to the landscape. My pictures to the north of this area that day don’t have the same glow as this one did. It is by far one of my favorite photos of the area.

How would you describe the mood of this photo?

Calming; peaceful. I was not expecting this photo to turn out as it did. It wasn’t until I got home to view it; that it resonated with me.

What was involved in setting up this photo? 

This was a spontaneous shot. Right place, at the right time. With the clouds, and positioning of the sun with the fall colors.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m honored, and humbled that my photo was selected as there are so many wonderfully talented photographers as well as images of the state parks in the northeast part of Minnesota.

Minnesota Outline with SW corner blue

Southwest State Parks

Big Stone Lake  |  Blue Mounds |  Camden |  Charles A lindbergh |  Father Hennepin |  Flandrau |  Fort Ridgley  |  Glacial Lakes |  Greenleaf Lake |  Kilen Woods |  Lac qui Parle |  Lake Carlos |  Lake Maria |  Lake Shetek  |  Mill Lacs Kathio |  Minneopa |  Minnesota Valley |  Monson Lake |  Sakatah Lake |  Sibley |  Split Rock Creek |  Upper Sioux Agency

FIRST PLACE – Southwest State Parks


Jon Wood

at Blue Mounds State Park

Photographer’s notes

Where was the photo taken?

This orchid, the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, is very rare and endangered so I can’t give away the exact location but let’s just say it’s on top of the mound and I actually did not see it this year. There was a recent prescribed burn so hopefully it’ll come back soon!

What brought you to this place?

I learned of the location and decided to visit at sunset. I have been hunting for Minnesota native orchids for a few years now and it’s very addicting! I have a gallery on my website of the ones I’ve found here: https://www.jonwoodphoto.com/Nature/Flowers/Minnesota-Orchids

When did you take the photo and what were the conditions like?

This was taken in mid July in 2017. It was a very calm night with the sounds of Dickcissels singing their song across the prairie.

How would you describe the mood of this photo?

It conveys the end of a relaxing and exciting day with the hope of an even better tomorrow. Is that the mood you were expecting to show up in the photo? I don’t take a photo for a particular mood.  I capture cool scenes to share with others.

What was involved in setting up this photo?

When I go out at sunset, that is planned, but the sky has a mind of its own and I just hope to be in a cool place when it lights up!

Minnesota Outline with SE corner yellow

Southeast State Parks

Afton  |  Banning |  Beaver Creek Valley |  Carley |  Forestville/Mystery Cave |  Fort Snelling |  Frontenac |  Great River Bluffs |  Interstate |  John A Latsch |  Lake Louise |  Myre Big Island |  Nerstrand Big Woods |  Rice Lake |  St. Croix |  Whitewater |  Wild River |  William O’Brien

FIRST PLACE – Southeast State Parks


Mike Chrun

at Wild River State Park

Photographer’s notes

A group of friends has been having a Memorial Day picnic at Wild River State Park for around 30 years. We were driving out of the picnic grounds as the sun was going down. A small deer went across the road in front of us and disappeared into the brush. When I stopped the car, I didn’t see the deer; but the backlit trees and bushes caught my eye. I decided to try to get the sunburst effect instead of totally blocking out the sun with a tree so I went to about an F14 aperture. It was a quiet, beautiful evening with the sunlight filtering through the trees and bushes. I feel so fortunate to live in Taylors Falls where I have such easy access to so many wonderful parks and trails.

Outline of Minnesota with NW corner green

Northwest State Parks

Big Bog  |  Buffalo River  |  Crow Wing  |  Cuyuna Country  |  Franz Jevne |  Garden Island |  Glendalough |  Hayes Lake |  Itasca |  Lake Bemidji  |  Lake Bronson |  La Salle Lake |  Maplewood |  Old Mill |  Red River |  Scenic |  Schoolcraft |  Zippel Bay

FIRST PLACE – Northwest State Parks


Alison Christensen

at Maplewood State Park

Photographer notes:

Where was the photo taken?
The photo is of Beaver Lake, taken near the beginning of the Park Drive (before the one way starts).

What brought you to this place?
We go camping at Maplewood every fall, and had been camping here the previous night.

When did you take the photo and what were the conditions like?

The weather had been quite drizzly and a little chilly, but in a good way, like fall is coming. It had stormed the night before and the rain was starting up again early in the morning, causing us to tear down our campsite early. But the rain let up by the time I took this photo around 10:30 in the morning. It was a Monday so almost nobody else was in the park—very quiet and peaceful.

How would you describe the mood of this photo?

Is “fresh air” a mood? That’s what I feel when I look at it.

What was involved in setting up this photo?

Spontaneous. I pulled the car over to the side of the road and got out immediately when I saw the lake and all of the colors surrounding it.

Photo Gallery - 2021 Submissions

Outline of Minnesota with NW corner green

Northwest State Parks

Big Bog  |  Buffalo River  |  Crow Wing  |  Cuyuna Country  |  Franz Jevne |  Garden Island |  Glendalough |  Hayes Lake |  Itasca |  Lake Bemidji  |  Lake Bronson |  La Salle Lake |  Maplewood |  Old Mill |  Red River |  Scenic |  Schoolcraft |  Zippel Bay

Minnesota Outline with SW corner blue

Southwest State Parks

Big Stone Lake  |  Blue Mounds |  Camden |  Charles A lindbergh |  Father Hennepin |  Flandrau |  Fort Ridgley  |  Glacial Lakes |  Greenleaf Lake |  Kilen Woods |  Lac qui Parle |  Lake Carlos |  Lake Maria |  Lake Shetek  |  Mill Lacs Kathio |  Minneopa |  Minnesota Valley |  Monson Lake |  Sakatah Lake |  Sibley |  Split Rock Creek |  Upper Sioux Agency

Minnesota Outline with NE corner tan

Northeast State Parks

Bear Head Lake  |  Cascade River  |  George H. Crosby Manitou  |  Gooseberry Falls  |  Grand Portage  |  Hill Annex Mine  |  Jay Cooke  |  Judge CR Magney  |  Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine  |  McCarthy Beach  |  Moose Lake  |  Savanna Portage  |  Split Rock Lighthouse  |  Temperance River  |  Tettegouche

Minnesota Outline with SE corner yellow

Southeast State Parks

Afton  |  Banning |  Beaver Creek Valley |  Carley |  Forestville/Mystery Cave |  Fort Snelling |  Frontenac |  Great River Bluffs |  Interstate |  John A Latsch |  Lake Louise |  Myre Big Island |  Nerstrand Big Woods |  Rice Lake |  St. Croix |  Whitewater |  Wild River |  William O’Brien