by William Eric McFadden

From the state forest's website:

Located seven miles from Charleston, Kanawha State Forest is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The forest has more than 25 miles of hiking and biking trails, picnic areas and diverse wildflower, tree and bird populations. Amenities include picnic shelters, playgrounds and camp sites.



The state forest sign -- click to enlarge On Saturday, October 10, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Kanawha State Forest in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. This was the first CW POTA activation of Kanawha State Forest.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation of Kanawha State Forest at the Crabapple Trail trailhead on Kanawha State Forest Drive with rain from the remnants of Hurricane Delta still falling. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their small dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at the Kanawha State Forest main entrance at about 1615 UTC and drove only a short distance down Kanawha State Forest Drive before identifying the Crabapple Trail trailhead as a suitable operating location. While Vickie walked the dogs in the rain, Eric donned his rain-poncho and deployed his 28½' wire antenna on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base. Because of the continuing rain, Eric set up his KX3 inside the car and was on the air by 1635 UTC.

Eric's station -- click to enlarge Eric found he had only enough cell-signal to be able to send and receive text messages, but this was enough to ensure he would be properly spotted through the efforts of his good friend K8RAT.

Eric began operations on 80m but several minutes of calling CQ failed to result in any QSOs. Interestingly, Eric could hear both K8RAT and VE3LDT calling him blind, but neither station could hear him.

Switching to 40m at 1645 UTC, Eric's first QSO came at 1648 UTC with the aforementioned VE3LDT in Ontario. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's eleventh QSO coming at 1716 UTC with N3F, a special event station in Pennsylvania bringing attention to Fire Prevention Week. This run of QSOs included a park-to-park (P2P) QSO with KB3WAV who was activating Kiptopeke State Park (K-1305) in Virginia and a P2P QSO with N9G, a Get Your Parks On! special event station activating Fox Ridge State Park (K-0994) in Illinois.

Color on Kanawha State Forest Drive -- click to enlarge Eric switched to 20m at 1718 UTC and had only one QSO there, at 1729 UTC, with NA5AR in Texas.

Eric switched to 30m at 1732 UTC and his first QSO there came at 1735 UTC with K1RDD. His third QSO on 30m came at 1738 UTC with AA5UZ in Louisiana.

In all, Eric made fifteen QSOs, of which two were P2P QSOs. 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.