by William Eric McFadden

From the Strouds Run State Park website:

Strouds Run State Park is located in the scenic forested hills of Athens County, in the midst of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau. Although untouched by the vast ice sheets that moved across portions of the state over 12,000 years ago, Strouds Run displays the effects of the glaciers -- in the deep ravines and high hills -- where the valleys served as outlets for torrents of glacial meltwaters. The erosive power of these waters carved the valleys and hillsides, creating the familiar topography Ohioans know today. Large deposits of glacial outwash, primarily sand and gravel, were deposited along these streams and strongly affected the type of biological communities present today.



On Saturday, December 3, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Strouds Run State Park (K-1994) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

On an unseasonably warm and blustery early-December day which started rainy but cleared up by late morning, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Dow Lake Dam within Strouds Run State Park for a quick POTA activation of the park. Eric was accompanied by his small dog, Theo.

Eric's station Eric arrived at Dow Lake Dam at about 1620 UTC, parked his car at one end of the small parking lot, walked Theo so the little dog could claim the park as his own, and deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base. Because of the wind and the lingering threat of rain, Eric deployed his Elecraft KX3 inside his car and was on the air at 1636 UTC.

As expected, Eric found he had good cell-signal at this location and he would be able to spot himself on the POTA Spots website and to use POTA Spots to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric began his operation on 20m by finding himself a frequency to run and calling CQ, and was pleased to be quickly auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO came at 1641 UTC with KA0OBI in Minnesota. QSOs thereafter came very quickly on 20m, with Eric's fourteenth QSO coming at 1654 UTC with WB4IT in Alabama. This run included a P2P QSO with W1BLU who was activating Allapattah Flats State Conservation Area (K-8717) in Florida and QSOs with operators located in Minnesota (2), Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Idaho (2), New York, Arizona, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama.

Switching to 40m, found himself a frequency to run, began calling CQ, and was again pleased to be quickly auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1658 UTC with his good friend K4SWL in western North Carolina. This QSO was immediately followed by a QSO with his good friend K8RAT in central Ohio. QSOs on 40m came very quickly, with Eric's fifteenth QSO on the band coming at 1711 UTC with KB9UWR in Indiana. This run included QSOs with operators located in North Carolina, Ohio (2), Tennessee, Illinois (2), Wisconsin (2), South Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Michigan, Connecticut, and Indiana (2).

Eric finished his activation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSOs. At 1718 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 17m with KP4DJ who was activating Parque Julio E. Monagas State Park (K-7551) in Puerto Rico, and at 1725 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m with W5RRR who was activating San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site (K-3511) in Texas.

In all, Eric made thirty-one QSOs, including three P2P QSOs, in just about fifty minutes of operating time. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at five watts output.

Following station tear-down, Eric and Theo climbed the trail to the of the dam to view Dow Lake.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program for an operation at Strouds Run State Park, KFF-1994.