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 29, 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.

Eric's station overlooking a thawing Dow Lake Completing his quest to earn the Fox Den Repeater Offender Activator Award for forty activations of the park, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the swim-beach on a frozen Dow Lake for his fortieth POTA activation of the park.

Eric arrived at the swim-beach at around 1433 UTC. Parking his car, Eric 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 1439 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 finding a frequency to run on 20m, calling CQ, and spotting himself on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO came at 1444 UTC with WS4Y in Florida. This was followed at 1447 UTC by a QSO with W6LEN in California. Several more minutes of calling CQ failed to produce any additional QSOs on 20m.

A view of thawing Dow Lake After consulting POTA Spots, Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with KR8P who was activating Manistee National Forest (K-4583) in Michigan.

Finding a frequency to run on 40m, Eric began calling CQ and updated his spot on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run was a P2P QSO with KD8IE who was activating Cuyahoga Valley National Park (K-0020) in Ohio. QSOs on 40m came quickly, with Eric's twenty-seventh QSO in this run coming at 1521 UTC with NX3X in Pennsylvania. This run included QSOs with operators located in Ohio (4), Virginia (3), North Carolina (2), Tennessee (2), Michigan (2), Alabama, West Virginia (2), Indiana (2), Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (2), Ontario, Kentucky, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut, and Missouri.

In all, Eric made thirty QSOs, including two P2P QSOs, in about forty 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.