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 Thursday, December 22, 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, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the Lakeside Shelter on the bank of Dow Lake on a warm but gray afternoon for his thirty-eighth POTA activation of the park.

Eric's station overlooking Dow Lake After exploring the Strouds Run State camping area for possible activation locations, Eric returned to the swim-beach area, arriving around 1600 UTC. He parked his car near the Lakeside Shelter, quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base, and deployed his Elecraft KX3 inside his car. Eric was on the air at 1613 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 quickly succeeded in making three P2P QSOs. At 1613 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with WP4F who was activating Parque Julio E. Monagas State Park (K-7551) in Puerto Rico. At 1616 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 17m with AE5X who was activating Half Moon Wildlife Management Area (K-6306) in Florida. At 1620 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with K3RTA who was activating Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (K-4582) in Delaware.

Finding a frequency to run on 20m, Eric began calling CQ and was almost immediately auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1625 UTC with KF0ARE in Minnesota. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's twenty-sixth QSO in this run coming at 1648 UTC with KI5GBQ in Oklahoma. This run included QSOs with operators located in Minnesota (2), Illinois (2), Texas (8), Florida, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Idaho, Wisconsin (3), Kansas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

Eric finished his activation by again checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 1653 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 30m with KD8IE who was activating Orwell State Wildlife Area (K-9490) in Ohio. Finally, at 1657 UTC, Eric made a second P2P QSO, this time on 20m, with AE5X who was still activating Half Moon Wildlife Management Area (K-6306) in Florida.

In all, Eric made thirty-one QSOs, including five P2P QSOs, in just about forty-five 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.