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 Sunday, April 9, 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 sunny, warm (55°), and gusty Easter Sunday to perform his 57th activation of the park.

Eric's station Eric arrived at the Strouds Run State Park swim-beach area at 1636 UTC and, after taking the dogs on a quick walk, decided to perform his activation on a well-placed picnic table overlooking Dow Lake. He deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast which he leaned into the tree overhanding the picnic table, set up his KX3 on the picnic table, and was on the air at 1646 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 on 20m by finding himself a frequency to run and calling "CQ POTA", and was pleased to be auto-spotted on POTA Spots. QSOs came slowly, with Eric having to call "CQ POTA" for six minutes before receiving his first response. Eric's first QSO came at 1453 UTC with N8EYF in Florida, and his sixth QSO came at 1502 UTC with AC5OC in Arkansas. This run included a P2P QSO with N4CD who was performing his 280th activation of Spring Creek Forest State Preserve (K-4423) in Texas and QSOs with operators located in Florida, Texas (3), Colorado, and Arkansas.

Switching to 40m, Eric found a clear frequency and began calling "CQ POTA". After the auto-spot was slow to appear, Eric manually updated his spot on POTA Spots, and his first QSO in this run came at 1506 UTC with K9ABR in Illinois. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's sixteenth QSO in this run coming at 1521 UTC with NK2C in New York. This run included QSOs with operators located in Illinois, North Carolina (5), Ontario (2), Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio (3), Virginia, Maryland, and New York.

Eric finished his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 1525 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with WB4CAL who was activating Hillsborough River State Park (K-1878) in Florida. At 1531 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 30m with WB2SMK who was performing a two-fer activation of Mohawk River State Park (K-8071) and Erie Canalway Heritage Corridor National Park Reserve (K-6532) in New York.

In all, Eric made twenty-five QSOs, with four 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.