by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

The Muskingum River Parkway State Park has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized as the Muskingum River Navigation Historic District. In its day, the system of locks and dams helped open the state and the entire Midwest to trade and development. It is the only remaining system of hand-operated locks in the nation.

The locks help boats safely bypass ten dams on the Muskingum River from Zanesville south to the Ohio River at Marietta. These locks are operated at no charge for recreational boats. Ten of the eleven locks still function— the northernmost lock, Ellis #11, is no longer in operation but offers a campground. The remaining locks have a variety of amenities and many communities along the Muskingum River offer recreational and sight-seeing opportunities for boaters and non-boaters alike. Visitors may enjoy watching the river from the park's picnic shelter south of Lock #7 on State Route 376.

From the Muskingum River Water Trail map and brochure:

Revolutionary War General Robert McConnel founded McConnelsville in 1817. The initial lock was constructed in 1830 using cut masonry stone, with the inner wall forming a common wall with the foundation of the McConnel mill. Foundations from the Elk Eye Mill, lock tender’s house, and other buildings are still evident.



Eric's station On Sunday, May 29, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Muskingum River State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Having decided that his goal within POTA for early 2022 would be to earn the Oasis Repeat Offender Activator Award for Muskingum River State Park by visiting all ten of the river-navigation locks and dams that make up the state park at least once each, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, returned to McConnelsville Lock and Dam #7 on a beautifully sunny day, accompanied by his wife Vickie, KC8MAJ; Miles McFadden, KD8KNC; and little dogs Theo and Ginny. (The family had adopted little Ginny just the day before, and this was Ginny's first outing with the family.)

This was Eric's twentieth activation of Muskingum River State Park, with his twenty activations having occurred at...

Eric operating Eric, Vickie, Miles, and the dogs arrived at the dog park on McConnell's Island at the McConnelsville Lock and Dam #7 at about 1845 UTC to find the island to be unnoccupied except for some geese. Selecting a bit of shade, strapping his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast to his folding camp-chair to support his 28½' wire vertical, and placing his Elecraft KX3 on the camp-chair's fold-up table, Eric was on the air at 1904 UTC.

As he had expected, Eric had good cell-signal and was able to use to POTA Spots (link) to spot himself and to look for park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities.

Eric began operations on 40m by selecting a frequency to run and calling CQ. Eric was pleased to see that the POTA Spots algorithm properly spotted him based on his Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) spot. Eric's first contact came at 1906 UTC with N4TIZ in North Carolina. This was followed at 1909 UTC by a QSO with KY4IE in Virginia.

Pausing to check POTA Spots, Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with K4NYM who was activating Colt Creek State Park (K-1848) in Florida.

Returning to run a frequency on 40m, Eric first QSO in this run came at 1914 UTC with K9VIC in Illinois. After this QSO, Eric had to change frequency within the band and re-spot himself because of interference from other stations and his second QSO in this run came a few minutes later at 1919 UTC with W4TRA in North Carolina. QSOs therefter came steadily, with Eric's seventeenth QSO in this run coming at 1936 UTC with AD3I in South Carolina. This run included QSOs with operators located in Illinois (2), North Carolina (3), Virginia, Ohio (3), New York (3), Maryland, Ontario (2), Wisconsin, and South Carolina.

Eric finished his activation by again checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 1938 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 30m with VE2JCW who was activating Parc Henri-Daoust Recreation Park (VE-2147) in Quebec and at 1941 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 40m with AA0Z who was activating Route 66 State Park (K-1783) in Missouri.

In all, Eric made twenty-two QSOs, including three P2P QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.

Following station tear-down, Eric and the family crossed the Muskingum River into the town of Malta to see the dam from the other side of the river.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program.