by William Eric McFadden

From the Blue Rock State Park's website:

Rugged hills and rich green forests provide the backdrop to Blue Rock State Park in southeast Ohio. Escape to nature's solitude, and enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of this scenic 322-acre state park. The park's picturesque shelters offer the perfect setting for wedding or other special occasions.

From the State Forest's website:

Decades of careful forest management and protection practices have transformed formerly low-quality farmland into one of Ohio's most beautiful and productive forests. The 4,578-acre Blue Rock State Forest, located in Muskingum County, features a fire tower and 26 miles of bridle trails.



The Blue Rock State Park sign On Friday, April 15, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed successful simultaneous activations of Blue Rocks State Park and Blue Rocks State Forest in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Blue Rock State Park on a brilliantly sunny, very windy day, arriving at the park's swim-beach and camp store parking area at about 1520 UTC. Eric was accompanied by his little dog Theo. Because Blue Rock State Park is enclosed within Blue Rock State Park, this activation qualified as a "two-fer" within the POTA program.

Upon arrival, Eric parked his car away from other vehicles in the parking area, walked Theo and took photos, and then deployed his 28½' wire vertical on a Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of strong winds, he set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1537 UTC.

Eric's station As at his most recent visit to this location in Blue Rock State Park, Eric found he had good cell-signal, and he was able to spot himself on POTA Spots (link) and to use POTA Spots to identify possible park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities.

Eric began operations by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 1538 UTC he completed a P2P QSO on 40m with K8RLE who was activating Lake Interstate State Game Land (K-6715) in Michigan.

Finding a frequency to run on 40m, Eric began to call "CQ POTA" and spotted himself. His first QSO in this run came at 1542 UTC with KC9IL in Illinois. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's tenth QSO in this run coming at 1553 UTC with K4MEF in Georgia. This run included a P2P QSO with KC5F who was activating Travelers Rest State Historic Site (K-7458) in Georgia and QSOs with operators located in Illinois (3), Michigan (2), Tennessee, Indiana, Georgia (2), and New Jersey.

Switching to 20m to run a frequency, Eric's first QSO there came at 1557 UTC with K1XT in Arizona. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's fifth QSO in this run coming at 1603 UTC with K0NXV in Minnesota. This run included QSOs with operators located in Arizona, Texas (2), Kansas, and Minnesota.

In all, Eric made sixteen QSOs, including two P2P QSOs, in about thirty minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.

Eric also submitted his log for Blue Rocks State Park, KFF-1936, to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program.