Favorite Places

These are our favorite places for sessions in the St. Cloud area. 
(Are you in Minneapolis or St. Paul? Check out the Twin Cities favorite places page)

Quarry Park, Waite Park

• offers: a “floating” bridge, large grassy area, a variety of trees, old granite quarries with water, as well as chunks of granite, an old building, lots of walking paths through the woods – a great way to incorporate a ton of variety with a mild amount of walking

• perfect for a session in: spring, summer, fall and winter
* beware of mosquitos in spring-summer, they are big ones! 
** there is a $5 fee to park inside the park

St. John’s University, Collegeville

• offers: a short jaunt down 94 (approx 22 mins from St. Cloud) drops us into the stunning area of St. John’s University and the Boardwalk Loop – this loop travels over an uneven floating boardwalk, into the trees then loops back towards the parking lot while passing over a pond with cattails and a solid boardwalk. If we backtrack a little, we’ll find the footbridge that passes over 94 and drops into a trail that weaves its way into the woods.

• perfect for a session in: spring, summer, fall and winter
* dogs are not allowed on the actual campus of St. Johns University

Downtown St. Cloud

• offers: St. Mary’s Cathedral, tons of doorways, brick walls, classic brick alleys, murals and tons more all within walking distance from where ever we park. The parking ramp under the convention center has a wicked look, as do the stairs. 

• perfect for a session in: spring, summer, fall and winter


* parking is free on weekends and weekdays after 6pm, though sometimes it can be a challenge to find a spot – I like the Paramount parking ramp best

Bend in the River Park, Rice

• offers: a short drive from St. Cloud (approx 20 mins), this location is a favorite with its many outbuildings including an old white house, a large barn and some rusty tin sided sheds, a walking path that meanders along the Mississippi River, a lower path that drops to the river, and a large tall prairie grass area – a great way to have a ton of variety with a small amount of walking.

• perfect for a session in: spring, summer, fall and winter
* fall is the busiest time for this location, weekday sessions may give us more room and will be quieter

Up for a drive? Let's go adventuring!

Montissippi Regional Park, Monticello

• offers: Featuring plantation planted pines (say that 3 times fast!), a paved walking path that meanders around the trees, a plethora of trees and grassy areas and a public water access on the river

From St. Cloud: approx 30 min drive

• perfect for a session in: spring, summer, fall and winter
* there are tons of raspberry bushes (lots of thorns) and poison ivy in the pines, we will take extra caution in this area

Sherburne Wildlife Refuge / Ann Lake

• offers:  ample hiking trails around the lake, massive trees, and a lovely beach. Just up the road is a daycamp with a bright red building (if there’s no one there we can borrow it). Backtracking a bit down the road away from the lake will get us to an awesome patch of plantation planted pines.

** The lupines bloom in later spring / early summer and would be a STUNNING backdrop! 

From St. Cloud: approx 40 min drive

• perfect for a session in: spring, summer, fall and winter

Deer Lake Orchard, Buffalo MN

• offers: one of the cutest, quaintest red barn, a vintage bicycle, a kissing booth door, decorative planters, goats, pumpkins and of course apples!

From St. Cloud: approx 50 mins drive

• perfect for a session in:  summer & fall (they open in August)

** Peak apple season may make the orchard super busy. 

Sunflower Ranch, Big Lake MN

• offers:  SUNFLOWERS! For a two week span there will be a ton of stunning sunflowers in bloom. Plus there is a vintage green truck, a lovely old house, and fences that wrap around the property. 

From St. Cloud: approx 30 min drive

• perfect for a session in: summer for sunflowers, fall and winter

Do you have any favorite spots to explore? Introduce them to us! We’re always up for a grand adventure in exploring new places!