National Forest Foundation

Summer of Trails Photo Contest Winners

The National Forest System, Hiking and Backpacking

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Trails throughout our National Forests and Grasslands provide access to some of the most beautiful places in the country. Whether a short trail along a creek or a long trail through the alpine high country, the journeys we take on our National Forests sustain us and provide unforgettable experiences. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act and we celebrated with the Summer of Trails photo contest. We received more than 450 photos from across the country showcasing spectacular trails on our National Forests. 

In addition to the photo contest, we’re inspiring Americans to give back to the trails they love through our Summer of Trails crowdfunding campaign. Only a quarter of trails on National Forest are up to management standards according to the U.S. Forest Service. As you enjoy these winning photos below, please give back, even just $5 or $10 can make a difference. 

Click here to support the Summer of Trails crowdfunding campaign.

First place

Silver Dollar Lake Trail
Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado

“It wouldn't be a walk in the woods in Colorado without some sort of snow.  Seemingly year-round there are resilient patches dotting the seemingly infinite landscape.  All too often (not really TOO often) I am found traversing these mid-summer snow patches in my Chacos...”

Photo by Mitch Warnick


Second place

Oval Lakes Trail
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

“Larch season in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness”

Photo by Dana Loutey


Third Place

West Bond Spur Trail
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

“Just me and my brother up on the West Bond summit as the sun goes down behind us, in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness, with only the sound of the wind to be heard. This place is magical! We are both family men in our mid-thirties and live hundreds of miles apart, but the forest reconnects us as if we've been together all along.”

 Photo by Joe Dougherty


Honorable Mentions

Trespass Creek
Custer Gallatin National Forest, Montana

“Focus on what matters. Enjoy the trails ahead.”

Photo by Anthony Pavkovich


Brice Creek Trail
Umpqua National Forest, Oregon

“Less than helpful trail sign.”

Photo by Devon Ashbridge


Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

“Exploring waterfalls in the national forests never gets old.”

Photo by Scott Minner


We’d like to thank all who participated in the photo contest.

Click here to give back to trails through the Summer of Trails crowdfunding campaign.

Click here to submit your photo to be featured on the National Forest Foundation Instagram page.


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