COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has announced the winners of the 2023 Ohio State Parks Photo Contest.

This year there were five categories — Main Character Moment, Sidekick Shenanigans, Homebase Harmony, Seasonal Surprises and Hero’s Journey — as listed on the contest launch information page. The photos had to be taken after Jan. 1, 2022, and visitors could submit up to five images for each category. The deadline for entries was on April 4, 2023.

“Ohio State Parks truly offer people the chance for adventure, memory-making, and scenic backdrops in every direction,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said when the contest was announced. “We are so excited to see the parks showcased through the perspective of visitors statewide.”

Jason A. Hammond captured the image that took first place, titled “Early Morning Paddle In An Old Canoe.” The photo depicts the back of a canoer on the water at Burr Oak State Park, with sunlit fog and lush greenery in the distance.

The second-place shot, “Polly’s Got Hopps” was submitted by NBC4’s McKenna King. It is a high-energy image of King holding up a stick while her dog Polly makes a giant leap to capture it, set against the backdrop of Hocking Hills State Park.

“Polly and I took this picture during our favorite time of year to visit Hocking Hills State Park,” said King. “It is so beautiful in the winter with all of the ice, and the aqua water sitting beneath the falls. We love getting out on the weekends and exploring our state parks, because they really are the perfect representation of our state’s most scenic and beautiful features. We can’t wait to explore them even more this year!”

Clayton Conley earned third place with a photo called “Creek Relaxing.” The picture shows a Mohican State Park waterway against soft gold and greens of trees in the background.