by William Eric McFadden

From the nature preserve's website:

Located in northern Hocking County at the edge of the Hocking Hills Region, Boch Hollow provides an excellent opportunity to see a wide diversity of habitats ranging from riparian corridors, mature wooded hills, ridges, sandstone outcrops, seeps, ponds and old fields. Seven miles of hiking trails including the Buckeye Trail takes you through a diversity of habitats that provides something for all preserve visitors.

Unique among Ohio’s preserves is the mission of Boch Hollow to serve as an educational site for hands-on environmental education of Appalachian Ohio ecology. Primarily geared toward local school children, the staff also provides programs to the general public as well as various civic and environmental organizations.

The most significant natural feature in the preserve is Robinson Falls, a rare example in Ohio of a canyon falls. An access permit is required from the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to view the falls.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Saturday, October 30, 2021, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, visited Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve at the North Trailhead parking area on an overcast Fall day during the peak of Fall color. The pair were accompanied by little dog, Theo.

Eric, Miles, and Theo arrived at the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve North Trailhead parking area at 2000 UTC to find the parking area to be unoccupied. Avoiding the power lines that diagonally crossed the parking area, Eric parked and he and Miles deployed Eric's 28½' wire antenna on the 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base. Eric set up the KX3 inside the car and was on the air at 2015 UTC.

Eric operates -- click to enlarge Eric was pleased to to find he had sufficient cell-signal to allow him to text his friends K8RAT and K4SWL and to spot himself on POTA Spots (link). (Upon tear-down, however, Eric discovered just how weak this cell-signal was, when it disappeared completely when he moved his car two feet to recover the drive-on mast base.)

Eric began operations on 80m but ten minutes of calling "CQ POTA" failed to produce even a single QSO.

Switching to 40m, Eric's first QSO there came at 2025 UTC with KO4SB in Alabama. QSOs came at a furious pace, Eric's nineteenth QSO coming at 2042 UTC with N4EX in North Carolina. When no one called after the QSO with N4EX was completed, Eric called "QRT", but this triggered another fast run of ten QSOs. The first run of QSOs included a Park to Park (P2P) QSO with AF8E who was performing an activation of Wayne National Forest (K-4521) in Ohio. (Coincidentally, prior to Eric's visit to the park, AF8E was the only operator to have performed a POTA activation of Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve.)

In all, Eric made twenty-nine QSOs in about thirty-six minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.