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.



Eric's station overlooking Dow Lake On Sunday, February 26, 2023, 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.

Having made himself a goal of earning in 2023 the Bear Cave Repeat Offender Activator Award by performing sixty activations of the park, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the swim-beach area at Strouds Run State Park on a late-February morning to perform his 53rd activation of the park. Eric was accompanied by his small dog, Theo.

Eric and Theo arrived at the swim-beach area at 1516 UTC and found a parking place overlooking Dow Lake. While Theo took care of his own business, Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical supported on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base, deployed his KX3 in the car, and was on the air at 1523 UTC.

As expected, Eric found he had good cell-signal at this location and 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 succeeded in making no P2P QSOs at this time.

Finding himself a 20m frequency to run, Eric began calling "CQ POTA" and was disappointed to see that the POTA auto-spot functionality wasn't working. Eric spotted himself manually and first QSO came at 1532 UTC with K9ABR in Illinois. The 20m band was very productive and Eric's twenty-fifth QSO came only twenty-three minutes later at 1555 UTC with KQ4DAP in Georgia. This run included a P2P QSO with N4CD who was activating Fairfield Lake State Park (K-3007) in Texas and QSOs with operators located in Illinois (2), Idaho, Texas (3), Minnesota, Florida (2), New York (5), Pennsylvania (2), Kentucky, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia (2), Washington, and Quebec.

Finding himself a 40m frequency to run, Eric began calling "CQ POTA" and was again disappointed the POTA auto-spot functionality didn't work. After manually spotting himself, Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1600 UTC with KQ4CW in Virginia. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's fifth QSO on 40m coming at 1606 UTC with WB3DDJ in Pennsylvania. This short run included QSOs with operators located in Virginia, North Carolina (2), Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Eric finished his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 1609 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 40m with N9ANA who was activating Channahon State Park (K-0987) in Illinois. At 1612 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with WB4CAL who was activating Hillsborough River State Park (K-1878) in Florida. At 1617 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 30m with N9ANA who was still at Channahon State Park (K-0987) in Illinois. Finally, at 1619 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 17m with WB0RLJ who was activating Chalco Hills State Recreation Area (K-4011) in Nebraska.

In all, Eric made thirty-four QSOs, with five P2P QSOs, in just over an hour. 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.