2017 Photo Contest

Our 3rd Annual Contest

The winners have been selected

See the Winning Photos

How it Works

We’ll update all the submissions we receive to be displayed here weekly with the name of the photographer and the location of the photo.

Three Categories

photos and titles of the three categories

  1. Seasonal Changes – Minnesota is a land of four seasons, so we want to see them all! That means snow, snow, snow; and it means leaves turning red and yellow and falling on the trail; and it means spring flowers that show themselves for a few short weeks each year; and yes, it even means summer, but summer has a tendency to be over represented (hint, hint).
  2. Recreation & Appreciation – Parks and trails are special in that they are places for people to enjoy nature. Show us your photos of people splashing in the lake, taking in the view from atop a peak, hiking or biking down the trail, or cross-country skiing. The key is that there are people in the photo.
  3. Flora & Fauna – While landscape photos offer an excellent vision of a place, sometimes it’s the close-up details of a mushroom or a spruce grouse that help us understand the importance of those places. We want to see your photos that capture the details of the plant and animal life within the state parks and trails.


Submission Guidelines

  • All photos need to be taken in a state park or trail in Minnesota
  • Recommended photo size is 2 mb or larger with high resolution (300 dpi), or a photo that appears high quality when the longer side is printed at 8 in. (hint: in the final round of judging we will print the photo on letter-size paper)
  • Limit of 3 photos per person (in each category, i.e., up to 9 photos)
  • 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. 


All photos will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will choose the top 3 winning photos, which will be announced on August 31. These judges will use the following criteria when deciding which photos advance:

  • Composition (e.g., framing of the shot, balance of elements)
  • Technical Quality (e.g., lighting, crispness, color, focus, etc.)
  • How well the photo showcases a particular park and trail in Minnesota within each category (e.g., capturing the unique beauty, experience or natural life within the park or trail).

Prizes & Recognition

  • We will award a total of $300 in State Parks Gift Cards in the following way:
    • The top three winners from each category receive
      • 1st = $50
      • 2nd = $25
      • 3rd = $25
    • 1st place in each category also will have photo featured in Minnesota Trails Magazine & Special Places Newsletter
    • 1st – 3rd place winners, along with any honorable mentions will be recognized on our website and Facebook page and may be used in a calendar that will be mailed to Magney Circle Members and photo winners in November.