by William Eric McFadden

From the Strouds Run State Park website:

Located outside of the city of Athens and within easy driving distance of Ohio University, Strouds Run State Park surrounds Dow Lake and draws a mix of trail and lake users. Miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding provide scenic views from rugged trails. The lake offers boating, paddling, swimming and a shaded campground.



On Wednesday, December 21, 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 sunny, pleasant Winter Solstice afternoon, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the swim-beach area within Strouds Run State Park for his thirty-seventh POTA activation of the park.

Eric's station overlooking Dow Lake Eric arrived at the swim-beach area at about 1800 UTC and, after scouting out the area for a few minutes, found a place to park his car and quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base. Deploying his Elecraft KX3 inside his car, he was on the air at 1814 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 but found no stations strong enough to try to work.

Finding a frequency to run on 20m, Eric spotted himself on POTA Spots and began calling CQ. Eric's first QSO came at 1818 UTC with WI0S in Minnesota. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's seventeenth QSO coming at 1840 UTC with WK2S in New Jersey. This run included QSOs with operators located in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Georgia, Quebec, Idaho, Missouri, Michigan (2), Florida (4), New York, Texas (2), Nova Scotia, and New Jersey.

Rowboats Switching to 40m, Eric found a frequency to run, began calling CQ, and was quickly auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1844 UTC with KC8ZWP in Ohio. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's sixth QSO in this run coming at 1850 UTC with KN4XP in North Carolina. This run included QSOs with operators located in Ohio (2), Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Eric finished his activation by again checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 1856 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with AB9CA who was activating Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (K-0173) in Arizona. At 1902 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 40m with KW4CZ who was activating Staunton River State Park (K-1321) in Virginia. Finally, at 1906 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with W0HY who was activating Fort Snelling State Park (K-2482) in Minnesota.

In all, Eric made twenty-six 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.

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.