by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

A total of 2,606 acres of uninterrupted hardwood forest sprawl over the many hills and coves of Strouds Run State Park. The rugged terrain and scenic lake provide visitors a unique wilderness escape in southeastern Ohio.


On Saturday, November 23, 2019, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Strouds Run State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation on a gray, dreary Fall day at the park's Horseman's Area and was accompanied by his wife Vickie, KC8MAJ, and their two small dogs, Mindy and Theo.

Eric had decided on this impromptu fourth activation of his nearest POTA unit to take advantage of the CQ World Wide CW event and had chosen to try the Horseman's Area because it appears to be at the highest elevation of anywhere in the park accessible by automobile.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at the Horseman's Area at about 1720 UTC and, with Vickie's help, Eric quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite pole that was held upright by a drive-on base. Because of the cool temperature and skies that threatened rain, Eric set up his Elecraft KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air by 1733 UTC.

Starting on 20m, Eric used hunt-and-pounce for about half an hour to work ten DX stations participating in the CQ WW contest. Eric worked stations in western Canada, Italy, France, Slovenia, Hawaii, Madeira Island, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Curacao.

Switching to 40m at 1808 UTC, Eric found a frequency that appeared to be clear of contest activity and began calling CQ. His first QSO on 40m came at 1815 UTC with N8BEG. QSOs came quickly with the 12th and final QSO on 40m coming at 1831 UTC with W8SUN. Eric was pleased that despite the mess the CQ WW contest was making on the bands, POTA Hunters were still actively chasing POTA units.

All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program. This operation at Strouds Run State Park, Eric's fourth operation at the park, finally gave Eric enough QSOs at the park to qualify for his first valid activation of a WWFF unit. (WWFF requires 44 QSOs for a valid activation but the QSOs can be made over any number of visits.)