by William Eric McFadden

From the Wayne National Forest 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!

From the North Country National Scenic Trail website:

Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Stand on the shores of lakes & streams from glaciers 10,000 years before. Clear-flowing water, red/gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, open prairies, and distant horizons paint the land. Historic sites along the way tell how America settled and grew as a nation. From North Dakota to New York (and soon Vermont), adventure is never far away.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Saturday, April 24, 2021, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team participated in the QRP to the Field contest (QRPttF) while simultaneously performing a successful two-fer activation of Wayne National Forest (K-4521) and North Country National Scenic Trail in Ohio (K-4239) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the two-fer activation at Tom Jenkins Dam on a warming but overcast morning on a day that would later bring rain. This would be Eric's seventeenth POTA activation of Wayne National Forest and his sixteenth POTA activation of North Country National Scenic Trail. Eric was accompanied by his small dog, Theo.

Burr Oak Lake and the Pumphouse -- click to enlarge Eric and Theo-dog arrived at Tom Jenkins dam at about 1500 UTC, parked at his favorite parking spot, and quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on the Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of the threat of rain, Eric chose to set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1506 UTC.

As at previous visits to this location, Eric found he had good cell-signal and he was able to spot himself on the POTA Spots website and to use POTA Spots to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric began operations by looking at POTA Spots for possible P2P QSOs and at 1511 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m with N4CD who was activating Spring Creek Forest State Preserve (K-4423) in Texas.

Anglers on Burr Oak Lake -- click to enlarge Finding a clear frequency on 40m, Eric spotted himself to POTA Spots and began calling "CQ TTF" and "CQ POTA". QSOs came very quickly, with Eric's thirty-second QSO on 40m coming in just about fifty minutes.

With propagation in the dumps due to the strike of a CME, Eric had expected to have to work a long time to get the ten QSOs required to validate his activations but was pleased QSOs had come so easily. He was also pleased that a fair number of the stations he worked seemed to be participating in the QRP to the Field contest and sent the full QRPttF exchange.

In all, Eric made thirty-three QSOs, including one P2P QSO. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and 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 for an operation at Wayne National Forest, KFF-4527.