The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is proud to announce the winners of its 2022 Ohio State Parks Photo Contest.

All winning entries, except the People’s Choice award, were chosen over three rounds of judging by a panel of ODNR employees. The People’s Choice Award was voted on by the public.

ODNR’s photo contest offered five categories for images taken in an Ohio state park after Jan. 1, 2022: wildlife in action, recreation in the parks, wondrous water, novice naturalist, and explore trails. Participants were able to submit up to five entries per category.

“We love to see the parks from visitors’ perspectives,” said Chief Glen Cobb, ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft. “These photographs celebrate Ohio’s outdoors and the memories created when family and friends gather in our state parks.”

The first-place winner, Ashley Hendershot of Ashland, submitted “Mohican Sunshine.” Her image depicts a biker on the 25-mile mountain bike loop at Mohican State Park with their hands up in the air while sun bursts through the surrounding trees.

“This picture captures the hidden beauty at Mohican if you are just willing to seek the adventure,” said Hendershot. “This scenery can only be seen if you follow the mountain bike trail and get out and ride.”

Second place went to Michael Cordell of Johnstown, for his photo titled “Kayaking.” It depicts a kayaker in the bay at East Harbor State Park and is taken at the level of the water to include the lily-pads.

Kimberly Jackson of Athens took third place with her image “Home Away from Home,” which shows a camping set-up on a sunny day at Strouds Run State Park.

The contest was co-sponsored by US eDirect, ODNR’s reservation management provider. The grand prize was a collapsible Oru kayak and a $120 Ohio State Parks gift certificate. Prizes were also awarded to the second and third place winners. Winners of the People’s Choice in each category received a free night of camping in any Ohio State Park campground.

All winning photos can be viewed here.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.