by William Eric McFadden

From the park website:

Ohio's oldest state park remains a beloved day-use destination. Buckeye Lake first served as a feeder lake for Ohio's canal system during the early 1800s. After the canal era, the new parklands began drawing tourists from around central Ohio. During the mid-20th century, visitors flocked to the park's amusement park and dance hall. Today, the park's largest draw is the 3,100-acre lake which provides wonderful boating and fishing opportunities. A 4-mile shoreline path connects the North Shore to Lieb's Island and offers a variety of areas for fishing and relaxation.



A view of Buckeye Lake near the north shore boat ramp -- click to enlarge On Saturday, April 3, 2021, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Buckeye Lake State Park (K-1938) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, performed the quick activation at the north shore boat ramp and Crane Lake parking area on a cold but otherwise very pretty early Spring day while enroute to Granville, Ohio, to help Eric's father and Miles' grandfather Tom McFadden, W8EOG, install a new HF antenna. Eric and Miles were accompanied by little dog Theo.

Eric had planned to perform the activation of Buckeye Lake State Park on the way home from Granville but an earlier-than-planned departure from home and a quicker-than-expected two-fer activation of Wayne National Forest (K-4521) and North Country National Scenic Trail (K-4239) earlier in the morning (report) had left more than enough time for a quick activation of Buckeye Lake State Park while enroute to Granville.

The Buckeye Lake Lighthouse -- click to enlarge Eric, Miles, and Theo arrived at the north shore of Buckeye Lake in Miles' recently purchased 2016 Subaru Impreza Sport at about 1315 UTC to find the boaters' parking lot nearly full of pickup trucks and empty boat trailers, which was surprising given the near-freezing temperature. There were several parking spaces available in the no-trailers parking lot nearer Crane Lake and Eric directed Miles to park in a handy end-space. The pair quickly deployed the 28½' wire vertical on the Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because the temperature was still near freezing, Eric chose to set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1330 UTC.

As at previous visits to Buckeye Lake, Eric found he had good cell-signal and he was able to spot himself on the POTA Spots website and to use POTA Spots to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs.

Finding a clear frequency on 40m, Eric spotted himself to POTA Spots and began calling "CQ POTA". The first QSO came almost immediately and was a P2P QSO with NJ0Q who was activating Myre-Big Island State Park (K-2513) in Minnesota. QSOs on 40m came very quickly, with Eric completing his twelfth QSO at 1343 UTC.

Eric operating -- click to enlarge Following the run on 40m, Eric switched to 80m, spotted himself, and made eight QSOs in about ten minutes. This run of QSOs included a QSO with Eric's friend K8RAT and an unexpected QSO with Eric's father W8EOG.

In all, Eric made twenty QSOs including one P2P QSO. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.

Miles did not operate but did all of the activation driving, did much of the activation photography, helped with station set-up and tear-down, and watched over Theo-dog.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program for an operation at KFF-1938.