by William Eric McFadden

From the forest's website:

The Wayne National Forest is a patchwork of public land that covers over a quarter million acres of Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. The Forest is divided into three units managed out of two Ranger District offices located in Nelsonville and Ironton, with a field office in Marietta.

The Forest features over 300 miles of trails for hiking, all-terrain vehicle riding, mountain biking, or horseback riding in season. The trails are open to ATVs, mountain bikes, and horseback riders from mid-April to mid-December each year. Come visit the Wayne and hike or ride our trails!



Eric's station--click to enlarge One member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in performing a valid activation of Wayne National Forest, K-4521, in Ohio as part of the the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the Wayne National Forest at Tom Jenkins Dam with his wife, Vickie (KC8MAJ) and their two small dogs, Theo and Mindy, on an overcast but otherwise pleasant spring day.

Not knowing if they would find the area open or closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, Eric, his wife, and the dogs arrived at Tom Jenkins Dam about 1750 UTC to find it open and the parking lot relatively full of cars. Wanting to assure physical distancing for himself and his wife, Eric parked the car at one edge of the parking lot against the armco railing with the plan of operating inside the car. Eric chose to deploy his 28½' end-fed wire supported on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast held vertical by a drive-on base. Eric was on the air by 1801 UTC.

As has become his custom, Eric started operations on 80m in the hopes that a QSO with his friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT could be made and, at 1803 UTC, a QSO was made with K8RAT. No other QSOs resulted from Eric's calls of CQ, and at 1810 UTC, Eric switched to 40m

Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1812 UTC with superb POTA Activator and Hunter N4EX. Despite rather loud thunderstorm crashes, QSOs came quickly on 40m with Eric's ninth QSO there coming at 1824 UTC with WB1DYR. At 1828 UTC, Eric switched to 20m.

A view of Burr Oak Lake--click to enlarge On 20m, Eric's first QSO there came at 1832 UTC with K7GT. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's fourth QSO on 20m coming at 1837 UTC with NG5E. At 1838 UTC, Eric switched to 30m.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1840 UTC with K5KJ. Eric's third QSO on 30m came at 1846 UTC with K7PYP.

In all, Eric made seventeen QSOs, all of which were made at the 5-watt level.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program although he didn't make enough QSOs to to achieve a valid activation within the program which requires 44 QSOs be made. However, the WWFF program allows these 44 QSOs be made over any number of visits so a valid activation within WWFF is still possible if subsequent visits to the park are made.