Oregon is an amazing and beautiful state, so when it comes time to find great vacation destinations it’s hard to beat what’s already in your own backyard. There’s a few special places that make my list. Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness.  The Canyonlands of Southeast Utah. Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. To name a few.

But, there’s one place that has us coming back again and again for more. That’s Maine’s Baxter State Park. Baxter is Maine’s largest park—over 200,000 acres in remote north-central Maine. Inside the park there is no electricity, running water, or paved roads. Driving from one end to the other takes hours, and every corner has something new to offer—from lush forests to barren peaks above treeline. Moose and loons are common sites on the hundreds of ponds in the park.

The area even inspired several writings of Henry David Thoreau, who in 1846 climbed Baxter State Park’s highest Peak, Mount Katahdin where he declared that “the tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on our humanity.” Upon looking down on the landscape below he observed that “this was primeval, untamed, and forever untameable Nature, or whatever else men call it.”

Needless to say, after two weeks of hiking and camping the Park this fall, I came back with hundreds of images.  Here’s are a few of my personal favorites. (Click on the images to see larger versions).

Photograph of a Big Tooth Aspen soaking up raindrops on the forest floor of Baxter State Park in Maine.