Marissa & Zack's Northern Minnesota Hiking Engagement Adventure • Banning State Park Engagement • Minnesota Elopement Photographer

Hit up the archives again for these two! Another badass Northern Minnesota adventure session I hadn’t blogged… so mad at my 2016 self for not sharing Marissa & Zack’s hiking engagement photos. But at least I did blog their wedding from last year, check them out here!

Little back story, I met this amazing lady when I switched to her Salon in Woodbury, MN a few years back. Our mutual love for hiking, kayaking, traveling and other fun outdoorsy stuff, made us quick friends!! She is from a small town in Montana, so adventuring around deep forests & exploring waterfalls is pretty much the norm! When she told me Zack proposed to her on their trip to Costa Rica & they wanted me to be their photographer, I was SO dang excited!!!

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their hiking engagement photo adventure

Naturally we chose a densely wooded location in Minnesota, with great hiking trails to a rad waterfall for their engagement photos. That afternoon we met at the trailhead at Banning State Park, filled our packs with some h2o & hit the trails. We were so pumped to get out there and explore! We headed down the trail, along the Kettle River, checking out the rock formations & various pot holes on the way.

As the sun started to dip below the tree line, we realized we needed to haul ass to Wolf Creek Falls or we weren’t going to make it before dark. At this point we had wandered off the first trail to a part of the park I hadn’t been before. If I’m being perfectly honestly here, I may have been a wee bit lost! ;) We started climbing up some rock faces to get over the ridge quickly to get my bearings back.

So here we are, jogging through the woods trying to beat sunset, when we finally stumble upon the trail! We made it to the falls just as the last few drops of light were poking though the trees! After a few great photos there, we strapped on our headlamps & started the hike back. Moral of the story: getting a little lost is actually kinda fun sometimes cuz you get to climb stuff, lol!

Night hiking

Let me ask you this, have you ever hiked around in the woods at night? This was honestly my first time, I was only a little terrified to be walking through the pitch dark woods through the spiderweb of connecting trails, with only three small beams of light, but it was actually a TRULY amazing experience. We found ourselves fully aware, totally present & soaking up all the great conversation. Walking through the woods at night strips away the visual distractions of everything around you, allowing you to simply put one foot in front of the other. If you haven’t tried it, get out there, I highly recommend it!

in conclusion

Exploring Northern Minnesota with Zack & Marissa for their wild engagement photos, was such a great experience I won’t soon forget!