Couple holding hands as the walk across the prairie at Louisville Swamp at sunset during their engagement session


These Louisville Swamp engagement photos were a ton of fun to make. This little known location is beaming with beauty and gives an almost unlimited amount of awesome backdrops for any photo shoot. It was quite the hiking adventure as well.

Below I’ll detail location information, give you the quick scoop on my couple, followed by a large gallery of photos from our Minnesota Wildlife Refuge engagement session.

Louisville Swamp Location & Trail Info

Louisville Swamp is located in the Minnesota Wildlife Refuge along Highway 169 in between Shakopee and Jordan, MN. It sits along the Minnesota River right next to the Renaissance Festival grounds. The Louisville Swamp Trail is a fantastic loop hike that is approximately 3 miles long. It’s a fairly flat and easy hike for most people. There is a myriad of other small trails branching off of the main loop trail as well. Keep good tabs on the trails you take so you don’t get lost.

What makes this a perfect Minnesota engagement session location:

  1. It is an absolutely gorgeous natural setting. An Oak Savannah, wide open prairie space, long grasses, various deciduous & coniferous trees, wildflowers, and a large winding river surround you during your photo session.Your hike will be filled with the sounds of wildlife from birds, to crickets, to frogs. The peaceful natural vibe helps create an easy level of comfort which can add greatly to the end result photos.
  2. The Historic 1880 Jabs Farmstead displays really cool old stone ruins from farmlands of yesteryear. Some buildings are still almost fully in tact while others are halfway crumbled to the ground.
  3. There is a giant Louisville Swamp Boulder just sitting along the trail that is super out of place but oh so unique.
  4. Close enough to Minneapolis & St. Paul but looks and feels like your somewhere much farther away.
  5. Hardly anyone is ever there so your chances to have the place to yourself is high.


Parking and Trail Access:

Park at the Louisville Swamp Trailhead parking lot near the railroad tracks and 145th Street. From there you can choose to head west or south towards where all the real beauty is, along the Mazomani Trail. Use the Google links to the landmarks in the above section to plot out your trip. Keep in mind that you’ll be covering miles of ground as you hike to the coolest places in the area. Allow plenty of time and bring extra water during the warmer months.


My Most Awesome Couple

Beth found me googling around the Interwebs looking for “eco-friendly” photographers. She loved my work and we set up a meeting. Now, I truly enjoy working with people from all walks of life, but it’s always a little extra special for me when I share many of the same values with my clients. We chatted about eco-friendly vendors, local & organic caterers, etc. It was a great meeting and I had high hopes of having the honor to shoot their big day. Meanwhile, Mike was off living and working as a fishing guide in Alaska…must be rough right?

Needless to say I was ecstatic when they chose me as their photographer. We pushed out the engagement session until Mike returned from Alaska, and they scoped out a this really cool place for the session. So, thanks to them, I now have another epic MN location (and some new secret spots) to use with my other clients. Thanks guys!

Beth & Mike also had an awesome fall wedding the following October at Camrose Hill Farm in Stillwater, MN. Be sure to take a peek at that one-of-a-kind rainy day wedding.

Funny side note:  One of the first things Beth told me was that her & Mike were not photogenic people. Take a peek at these and tell me if you agree.  😉


Collection of Louisville Swamp Engagement Photos



Couple kissing in their pink flannel shirts in an open prairie at Louisville Swamp in the Minnesota Wildlife Refuge Area during their engagement session

Newly engaged couple sitting on top of a frosted hill, amongst the leaves, during their engagement photos at Louisville Swamp

Close up of couple snuggling and smiling together at the Louisville Swamp

Close up of a couples faces as they gently touch forehead to forehead at Louisville Swamp

Couple leans up against one of the cool old building at the Historic Jabs Farm inside of Louisville Swamp

Couple sharing a kiss among the crumbled ruins of the Historic 1880 Jabs Farmstead at Louisville Swamp

Couple sitting together, smiling at the camera in the ruin of an old window opening at the Historic 1880 Jabs Farmstead at Louisville Swamp

Newly engaged women snuggles up with her fiancé and shows off her engagement ring on the side of one of the old buildings at the Jabs Farms in the Louisville Swamp area

Couple of lovebirds snuggling up on a bench at Louisville Swamp

Black & white photo of couple sitting together spider style with her legs up over his at Louisville Swamp

Couple holding each other closely in the long prairie grasses of Louisville Swamp with the beautiful fall colors showing in the trees behind them

Close up portrait of couple looking serious but happy during their Louisville Swamp engagement photos

Couple holding each other closely under and old door frame at the ruins of the old Jabs Farm in Louisville Swamp

Couple shares a big laugh together with one of the coolest ruins at the Jabs Farm showing bending them in a large brick wall that still stands

Women gazing into the camera while her man holds her tight in his arms during their engagement session at Louisville Swamp with the gorgeous old brick wall ruins of Jabs Farm sits behind them

Balck & white photo of the couple walking away into a wide open prairie together as they head, hand-in-hand, toward their bright future together


Jackson Tyler Eddy, of A Frame Forward Photography, is an awarding-winning Minneapolis wedding photographer who has been traveling to shoot at destinations worldwide for the last decade. Feel free to reach out to Jackson directly to plan your own Louisville Swamp engagement photo session or with any questions, thoughts, or ideas. Hop on over to his Blog for more things weddings & engagements.