POTA Parks in Grid Square EN92

The following image shows all of the POTA parks in my grid square EN92. There are 47 in total, 45 in Ontario and 2 in Pennsylvania.

Link to interactive map.

Yellow markers indicate parks to be activated as of September 27, 2023.

Blue markers indicate parks I have activated.

The software used to create the map is called EasyMapMaker

POTA Wagon

I purchased this utility wagon from Canadian Tire for use in my POTA activations. I hope to be able to load everything I need for an activation into the wagon, make it very handy to operate in a park when you are forced to walk in.

Top 5 POTA Parks

There are quite the number of POTA entities around my home QTH, following is a list of the top 5 locations I have activated since Oct 7, 2021.

1. VE-1688 Ward McKenna Conservation Area located in south end of Aylmer, ON. This is an open area park, with tall trees for an antenna.

2. VE-5935 Cowan Recreation Park located in the north side of St Thomas, ON. There is a line of tall trees on the north side of the driveway as you enter the park, primarily used for soccer in the summer time.

3. VE-5541 EM Warwick Conservation area located off the old Hwy #3 southwest of Wallacetown, ON. There is a pavilion that you can operate from in the south end of the area, at one time, there was a tower just south of the pavilion that I operated from one time a few years ago. The tower has now been removed.

4. VE-5619 Springwater Conservation Area located southeast of St Thomas, ON. Lots of trees there, and trails to walk if you are so inclined.

5. VE-5622 Lake Whittaker Conservation Area located southeast of London, ON. Trees everywhere, so lots of antenna supports.

All of these areas get you out of your vehicle and operating a portable station among the trees.

73, Al VE3GAM

POTA: June 29, 2022

Greg VA3CBN and I met at this little roadside park on old Highway 3 southwest of Wallcetown, ON. This park is on the Trans-Canada Trail, 10 contacts made from this park within 100 feet of the road (trail) qualify as a POTA activation. My station setup consisted of a 20ah Bioenno battery, a Kenwood TS-50 transceiver, an MFJ-9494E tuner and a homebrew spike mount using old hamstick antennas for both 20m and 40m and 4 33 foot radials. Things were pretty quiet on the bands, eventually I stirred up some activity on 20m. My first 2 contacts of the day were with S51DX in Slovenia and LY5AT in Lithuania. After that I made 4 more contacts before giving up on 20m and switched to 40m.

It took a while but I did make 12 contacts today on 20m and 40m, 8 p2ps. My last 6 contacts were made with stations from the spot list, so spotting does help. How I wish that those band conditions would improve and make “making 10 contacts” a lot easier. 73 for now, Al VE3GAM

POTA: June 18, 2022

VE-5616 Hawkins Tract

Making 12 contacts today, I successfully activated VE-5616 Hawkins Tract. Signals were still weak today, propagation conditions certainly could have been better.

Hawkins Tract has no vehicle access, so I used my new ground spike with my 40m and 20m hamsticks and 4 33 foot radials. I set up near the path through the woods and made a few contacts. I am pleased that I could complete an activation, this is not site that I would want to activate again and again.

Jeff K3JRZ recorded his POTA activation, snuck in at the end of this video: 40M Along The Canal POA Activation. Rough copy both ends that day, but we both stuck it out and made the contact.

POTA: June 17, 2022

Made 12 contacts today on the Trans-Canada Trail VE-5082 from a location just west of St Thomas, ON, near the intersection of Lyle Rd and Blind Line Rd. Six of the twelve were p2ps (park to parks). Radio conditions were not good, I did stick it out until I had made my 10 contacts.

73 Al VE3GAM

POTA: June 13, 2022

Looking at the weather forecast for the day, it sure looked like it would be a good day to go out and activate a new one VE-5617 Calton Swamp Wetland Complex. It is not too far away, southeast of St Thomas, Ontario. If only the propagation gods would smile down, then everything would be great.

Started calling CQ at about 12:30 pm local time, and finally managed to make the 10 contacts needed to activate the park by about 4 pm. Not a good day at the park, propagation was terrible. Perhaps another day will be better, I will keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks to all those out there who could hear my signal, I did make the minimum 10 contacts to activate the site. I never did make it to VE-5616 Hawkins Tract, I had planned to operate from there as well, but paucity of contacts sure slows you down. Another day…

Unless the propagation gods start delivering, my next activation attempt will be with some London Amateur Radio Club members on June 19th at VE-0255 Komoka Provincial Park. See you down the log… Al VE3GAM

POTA Happenings: May 28, 2022

VE-5618 Archie Coulter Conservation Area was just recently added to the POTA system. It is located about 12 km east of my QTH here in St Thomas, ON, Canada, because the Trans-Canada Trail VE-5082 goes along Brouwers Line, the road that the conservation area is on, operation from this entity qualifies it as a 2-fer.

On May 28, 2022, I planned to operate from this new POTA park, and claim 2-fer contacts for both VE-5618 and VE-5082.

I used my Kenwood TS-50 radio, running 100w, from a Bioenno 20ah battery, and used my old 40m and 20m hamsticks on a mag-mount for an antenna. I managed to make 18 contacts during this activation, band conditions did not seem to be very good.

As you can tell, I took the picture of the parking lot at the conservation area back in the winter, then I was just hoping that it would eventually be added to the POTA system. I knew then that if it was, that as an activator, you can do a 2-fer if and when it was added to POTA, this made it an attractive destination park for me. An added bonus to me is that I would be the first activator of this entity.

The log of my contacts that day follows:


POTA Happenings: May 25, 2022

Activation of VE-1688 Ward McKenna Conservation Area

First time activation of this conservation area tucked into the south end of Aylmer, ON, made 42 contacts, best contact of the day was with EA1GIB in Spain, 7 park to park stations.

POTA Happenings: May 23, 2022

Activation of VE-5541 EM Warwick Conservation Area:

First POTA activation of VE-5541 EM Warwick Conservation Area, made 13 contacts, on 20m and 40m

POTA Activation of VE-4888 and VE-5082

Brian VE3KLT and I (VE3GAM) activated the Southwold Earthworks VE-4888 and the Trans-Canada Trail VE-5082 on October 7th. We set up our station just inside the fence, so that we would be no more than 100 feet from the road along which the Trans-Canada Trails runs. Thus, we set up for a 2-fer, activate 2 parks for one contact.

Our station setup was a Yaesu FT891 running 90 watts, powered by a 20 ah Bioenno battery, and feeding a Wolf River Coils vertical. We managed to make 22 contacts, 2 on 20m and 20 on 40m, these we shared as contacts. Our logs were submitted to POTA later that day. This was my first activation for POTA, Brian’s second. Really good results, we do plan to do this again sometime.

For more information about the Parks on the Air program, check out this link to the Parks on the Air website.