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 Friday, March 24, 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 cold and rainy late-March morning to perform an impromptu 55th activation of the park.

Eric's station Initially dissuaded from visiting the park by the weather forecast which called for a high temperature of 49° and 100% chance of rain all day, after running a number of errands in the early afternoon, Eric decided the rain was light enough that he would attempt an activation of Strouds Run State Park. Arriving at the completely empty swim-beach area at 1755 UTC, Eric parked, deployed his 28½' wire vertical supported on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base, set up his KX3 in the car, and was on the air at 1803 UTC.

As he had 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 finding himself a frequency on 40m frequency to run, spotting himself to POTA Spots, and beginning to call "CQ POTA". Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1805 UTC with W8JWL in Michigan. QSOs on 40m came steadily, with Eric's eleventh QSO coming at 1817 UTC with WX4TW in North Carolina. This run included a QSO with Eric's good friend K8RAT in central Ohio and QSOs with operators located in Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), New Jersey, Ohio (2), Indiana, and West Virginia.

Eric finished his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and in about twenty-three minutes made seven P2P QSOs as a hunter:

Band Time UTC Station Park
30m 1819 KG8CO Goose Lake State Game Land (K-6686), MI
40m 1822 W5VS Casselman River Bridge State Park (K-1563), MD
20m 1825 WB0RLJ Union Pacific State Recreation Area (K-5677), NE
30m 1828 N0AC Badger Creek State Recreation Area (K-5729), IA
20m 1829 AI4RJ Sawgrass Lake Park State Conservation Area (K-6700), FL
20m 1835 K5LE Will Rogers State Historic Site (K-8651), OK
20m 1838 KA5CRL Lake Arrowhead State Park (K-3022), TX

In all, Eric made eighteen QSOs, with seven P2P QSOs. 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.