NEW YORK STATE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Much of the natural beauty in New York State’s campgrounds and parks was captured in the year 2022.

On January 18, 2023 the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the winners of their 2022 Outdoor Photo Contest!

The online contest had a total of 6,032 submissions that showcased special destinations in New York State, state parks and campgrounds. There were six total categories and it ran through the summer and fall seasons.

“With more than 6,000 stunning images entered into this contest, it’s clear that visitors to our parks enjoy their time in the outdoors with family and friends, and are happy to share those special memories. Congratulations to our winners and all participants who showcased their artistry, perspective and generosity documenting the very best of New York’s natural settings and the fun adventures they discovered along the way”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid

The powered by Aspira, which is the state’s camping reservation system, ran in partnership with the contest.

“A big congratulations to all the photo contest winners who captured truly breathtaking images of New York’s unmatched natural resources. DEC and State Parks appreciate all the New Yorkers visiting our state’s campgrounds, parks, and wilderness areas to take advantage of their beauty and recreational opportunities, and we encourage outdoor enthusiasts to keep snapping and sharing photos of their one-of-a-kind outdoor adventures.”

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos

The grand prize winner and the six individual category winners include the following:

Grand Prize

  • Photo submitted by: Wendy Bouchard of Schenectady, NY
  • Caption: “Bear Mountain Bridge Sunrise”
  • Location: Bear Mountain State Park
  • Comment: Bouchard was on site before sunrise for a photograph set amidst the colors of fall.
Provided by NYS Parks

Camping Life

  • Photo submitted by: Alessandro Frati of New York City, NY
  • Caption: “There’s Always a First Time”
  • Location: Mongaup Pond Campground
  • Comment: Frati is a first-time camper at Mongaup Pond and just started exploring the Catskills.
Provided by NYS Parks

Seasonal Spectacular

  • Photo submitted by: Karen Millspaugh of Bergen, NY
  • Caption: “Fall Reflections”
  • Location: Taylor Pond Campground
  • Comment: She enjoyed quiet time among wildlife for this beautiful shot.
Provided by NYS Parks

Action & Adventure

  • Photo submitted by: Kellie Olsen of Oneida, NY
  • Caption: “Feeling Free!”
  • Location: Wellesley Island State Park
  • Comment: Her husband Mike enjoyed the freedom the water brought.
Provided by NYS Parks


  • Photo submitted by: Diana Richards of Suffern, NY
  • Caption: “Roxy Watches the Sunrise”
  • Location: Storm King State Park
  • Comment: Roxy admires the view at Storm King.
Provided by NYS Parks

View & Vistas

  • Photo submitted by: Courtney Bradt of Amsterdam, NY
  • Caption: “Sunset at the Ruins”
  • Location: Crown Point Campground
  • Comment: The photo brings out the majesty of the site.
Provided by NYS Parks

Making Memories

  • Photo submitted by: Chris Robey of Tonawanda, NY
  • Caption: “Evening Campfire”
  • Location: Stony Brook State Park
  • Comment: Robey grew up going to Stony Brook and handing down his love of camping, boating and fishing to his family.
Provided by NYS Parks

What do the winners receive?

The grand prize winner receives a $1,000 REI gift card, one four-person tent, a 2023 Empire Pass and a $250 camping gift card.

The six individual category winners each receive a $250 REI gift card, a 2023 Empire Pass and a $100 NY camping gift card.

The 2023 New York State Camping Guide will feature all the winning images and along with other entries, statewide promotions will be used on social media, websites and print publications.

Photos were judged on the following criteria according to the New York State Parks:

  • Originality
  • Artistic composition
  • Technical quality
  • Whether the photograph showcases the best of New York State Parks camping and outdoor activities

“Congratulations to all the winners! Aspira is proud to have managed over 6,000 photo entries and stories from individuals and their families who seek connection to New York state lands. These winning photos will inspire people to explore and preserve the unique outdoor recreational opportunities throughout the state.”

Graham Ballbach, President, Parks & Wildlife at Aspira

250 state parks, historic sites, launches and nature centers are operated by New York State Parks, as well as, 68 campgrounds with 8,300 campsites and 900 cabins and cottages throughout 11 park regions.

52 campgrounds and four day-use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks in the state with 6,200 campsites are operated by the NYSDEC.