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 Monday, December 19, 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 his quest to earn the Fox Den Repeater Offender Activator Award for forty activations of the park, on a gray, 34° December afternoon, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, returned to Bulldog Shelter within Strouds Run State Park for his thirty-sixth POTA activation of the park.

Blackhaw Accessible Trail alongside Dow Lake Eric arrived at Bulldog Shelter at 1930 UTC, parked his car at one end of the small parking lot, and quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base. Because of the cold temperature, Eric deployed his Elecraft KX3 inside his car and was on the air at 1934 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 by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 1935 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 17m with the Radio Research Club operating as WI2X for an activation of Holey Land Wildlife Management Area (K-6310) in Florida. This was followed at 1937 UTC by a P2P QSO on 17m with NU7J who was activating Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge (K-0594) in Washington. At 1941 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with K0BWR who was activating World War I Museum National Memorial (K-4591) in Missouri.

Finding his own frequency to run on 20m, Eric began calling CQ and was almost immediately auto-spotted to POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1945 UTC with KJ7DT in Idaho. QSOs came fast-and-furious for nearly forty-five minutes, with Eric's forty-third QSO in this run coming at 2026 UTC with AC0DK in Wisconsin. This run included a P2P QSO with WA7RAR who was activating TouVelle State Park State Recreation Area (K-9152) in Oregon; QSOs with OH1MM and OH1XT in Finland; a QSO with CU3BL in Portugal; and QSOs with operators located in Idaho, Iowa, New York (5), Montana, New Jersey (3), Mississippi, Wisconsin (2), Texas (2), Florida (4), Ontario (2), Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Massachusetts (2), Oklahoma, Connecticut (2), Maine (2), New Hampshire, Kansas, Georgia (2), Michigan, Kentucky, Oregon, and Utah.

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

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.