Around Town

Annual New Year’s Day photo contest returns to Fairfax County trails

People walk on a trail at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve on a warm fall day (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax County’s trails are ready for their close-up.

With 2023 right around the corner, the Fairfax County Park Authority and Fairfax County Park Foundation are once again inviting community members to take a hike and submit their best snapshots for potential prizes.

The annual First Hike Fairfax photo contest will return this weekend, encouraging both professional and amateaur photographers to capture the scene at any park authority-owned trail.

“The contest joins countless First Day Hike programs throughout America’s state parks and is open to hikers and photographers of any age and skill level,” the FCPA said in a news release. “It’s a great way of getting out and enjoying the new year with friends, neighbors and family.”

A link for submissions will go live on the contest website at 5 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 31) and close right at midnight on Monday (Dec. 2).

Prizes will be given in seven categories:

  • People’s Choice: $100 Park Authority Gift Card or 25-visit FCPA Rec Center Discount Fast Pass (valued at $175)
  • Judges’ Choice: $100 Park Authority Gift Card or 25-visit FCPA Rec Center Discount Fast Pass (valued at $175)
  • Director’s Choice: $100 Park Authority Gift Card
  • Best in Show (Scenery/Landscapes): $75 Park Authority Gift Card
  • Best in Show (People): $75 Park Authority Gift Card
  • Best in Show (Wildlife): $75 Park Authority Gift Card
  • Best in Show (Pets): $75 Park Authority Gift Card

Each person can only submit one photo, though families or groups can send in individual submissions. Photos must be provided as a JPG or PNG, and they should include a date and the park or trail where they were taken, according to the FCPA.

The park authority oversees over 334 miles of trails, not including regional facilities like the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.