2022 Photo Contest

Photos from MN State Parks

in the following categories: NW * NE * SW * SE


Friday, Oct. 1, 2022

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Oct. 1 – Submission deadline

Oct. 2 – 8 – Judging selection process

Oct. 12 – Winners announced online and on social media


Details and judging criteria

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  • Photo must be taken in a state park or trail in Minnesota.
  • Limit of 4 photos per person.
  • Photo must have been taken and owned by the person submitting (e.g., copyright has not been sold to another person or entity)
  • Photo must be in .jpeg or .jpg format
  • Photo must not depict anything against the rules of the park or trail where photo was taken.
  • The recommended size of the photo is
    • 300 dpi.
    • At least 2,000 pixels on the longest side. Larger images are encouraged and may improve your photos’ quality.
    • The winning photos must be of sufficient quality to use in print publications.
    • Less than 8 MB.
  • Photos must not be digitally altered beyond standard optimization.
    • Acceptable changes include adjustments to color, contrast, brightness, and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping; black-and-white conversions; and use of HDR (High Dynamic Range), where multiple exposures of the same scene are combined for a greater tonal range, and similar processes for extended depth of field.

A panel of judges will be choosing the winners using the following criteria:

1. Content – capturing the unique qualities, experiences or beauty of that park or trail. Photos from any season is welcome.

2. Composition – the framing and balance of elements within the shot.

3. Technical Quality – the lighting, crispness, color, focus of the shot.


Variety of prizes

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All submitted photos (that abide by the rules and criteria) will be displayed on this page of our website and winners will recognized.

All winning photographs will be recognized on our Facebook  and Instagram pages.

Cover of our 2020 CalendarAll photos (not just the winners) have the potential to be featured with photographer credit in our 2023 calendar. Any photographer whose photo is selected will receive two copies of the calendar, plus a discount on any additional copies. Note: we receive very few non-summer photos, so if you’d like to be featured in the calendar your chances are better if you submit a spring or winter photo.

Gift Card to Minnesota State ParksAwarded as follows for each of the 4 categories.

1st = $50 value
2nd = $40 value
3rd = $30 value

four issues of Minnesota Trails Magazine

First place photos from each category will be published in Minnesota Trails Magazine, which is distributed to all state parks and many bike shops, plus mailed to P&TC members.

Outline of Minnesota with NW corner green

Northwest State Parks and Trails

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

STATE TRAILS: Cuyuna Lakes | Heartland | Paul Bunyan

Minnesota Outline with NE corner tan

Northeast State Parks and Trails

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

STATE TRAILS: Gitchi Gami | Willard Munger

Minnesota Outline with SW corner blue

Southwest State Parks

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

STATE TRAILS: Casey Jones | Central Lakes | Glacial Lakes | Luce Line | Minnesota Valley | Sakatah Singing Hills

Minnesota Outline with SE corner yellow

Southeast State Parks and Trails

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

STATE TRAILS: Blazing Star | Brown’s Creek | Gateway | Goodhue Pioneer | Great River Ridge | Douglas | Mill Towns | Harmony-Preston Valley | Root River | Shooting Star