2011 Summer Photo Contest Winner’s Gallery


Trails of Freedom is always working hard to bring you new insights into the outdoors, but early this year we got around to thinking that it would be great to organize some “role reversal”. For our 2011 Summer Photo Contest, we decided to be your audience and get treated to a photographic tour of the places and things that draw our fans outside the house and into the Great Outdoors.

We received over 50 entries and couldn’t believe the wide range of styles and perspectives that came to us from all over the United States. All of us here at Trails of Freedom would like to extend our sincere thanks to each and every entrant for offering up such diverse visions of the world.

Without further ado, we are proud to announce the esteemed winners of the Trails of Freedom 2011 Summer Photo Contest!

GRAND PRIZE WINNER – Sean Buchan, Denver, Colorado
1st Place Winner - Sean Buchan, Denver, COPhotograph by Sean Buchan, Grand Prize Winner

Sean Buchan of Denver, Colorado claimed the Grand Prize with this exquisite photograph from Apex, Colorado. Never heard of Apex? That’s understandable, because it’s a ghost town. At one point in the 1890s, as many as 1,000 people lived at Apex… these days, it boasts a population of precisely zero. “There are few buildings remaining in Apex,” Sean told Trails of Freedom,” with this barn being one of them.”

After one of his patients mentioned that Apex was a favorite spot to shoot photographs, Sean decided he would head out there in January 2011 and take advantage of the recent weather. “The Rockies got dumped on this past winter (there was at least 6 inches of snow the day this photo was taken), creating some beautiful landscapes,” Sean explained. We couldn’t agree more!

Congratulations, Sean. You will be receiving a $50 gift card to REI!

2ND PRIZE WINNER – Avery Sullenger-Wedder, Grand Rapids, MI
2nd Place Winner - Avery Sullenger-Wedder, Grand Rapids, MIPhotograph by Avery Sullenger-Wedder, 2nd Prize Winner

If our Grand Prize Winner had you feeling chilly, then this spectacular shot by Avery Sullenger-Wedder of Grand Rapids, Michigan will warm you up in no time. Avery took 2nd Place with a memorable shot from the beach which features “two siblings and a friend entering Lake Michigan for the last swim of the day.” Wait… that’s not the ocean? Admittedly, all of us here at Trails of Freedom had unconsciously assumed this was the seashore (lakes just aren’t that big in our home state of Connecticut), and we were rather amazed when Avery reminded us that it was taken in West Olive, Michigan. “The sky was an amazing bright golden hue laced with a bit of pink and purple,” said Avery. “Just gorgeous!”

Congratulations, Avery. You will be receiving a $25 gift card to Cabela’s!

3RD PRIZE WINNER – Mike Kelliher, Manchester, NH
3rd Place Winner - Mike Kelliher, Manchester, NHPhotograph by Mike Kelliher, 3rd Prize Winner
(you can see a larger version of this panorama by clicking on the photo above)

Mike Kelliher of Manchester, New Hampshire was a long way from home when he composed this sweeping panorama overlooking Kahana Bay from the Pu’u Manamana Trail in Ka’a’awa, Hawaii. The Pu’u Manamana Trail is said to be one of the most dangerous hikes on the island of Oahu, but as Mike reveals with this prize-winning photograph, it’s well-worth the risk. “This was one of the most intense hikes I have been on as well as one of the most beautiful,” Mike explained. We’re convinced!

Congratulations, Mike. You will be receiving a Trails of Freedom t-shirt!

Honorable Mentions
Chad Ward, Belleville, IL

Chad Ward
Belleville, IL

Sean Buchan, Denver, CO

Sean Buchan
Denver, CO

Melissa Couture, Coventry, CT

Melissa Couture
Coventry, CT