The Outdoors Net
Parks on The Air

Parks on The Air

Parks on the Air ℠ (POTA) is an ongoing program, it encourages amateur radio operators in developing their skills, fostering community and demonstrating the hobby to the public. There are thousands of parks available in the program and each will present a unique experience.


The second annual PNW NQF – two makes it a tradition, right? – is scheduled for August 6th and 7th this year.  The PNW NQF is a SOTA S2S party that runs concurrently with the Colorado Ham 14er and the Socal SOTAFest.  The PNW NQF brings out activators in MT, ID, WA, and OR with plenty of opportunities for HF and 2M summit-to-summit and chaser contacts.

If you are an activator, post an alert on SOTAWatch, and include “PNW NQF” in the comment line.  You can also send an email to info at qrpdx dot org with your summit(s) and expected time of activation.  A few days before the event I will send out an email with everyone’s summit info, which will make it easier to make local contacts.

Last year was a blast.  There were roughly twenty PNW SOTA ops and summits along with people from California, Arizona, and Colorado. Lots of contacts were made, lots of S2S points collected.

You can find more information about the event at

POTA Annual Support Your Parks Plaque Event

Are you looking for an opportunity to demonstrate your park activating and/or hunting prowess? Here is your chance! 4 times a year POTA has a seasonal “Support Your Parks Event” to encourage individuals to get out in the parks and make contacts. During the summer event, one of the program administrators volunteers to coordinate the sponsorship and give-away of plaques based on the results of the 48 hour long activity.

These are no ordinary QSO party plaques! During this event we give away premium series plaques, on black piano-finish wood. The award is laser engraved on an 8×10 textured black aluminum plate with a silver Florentine border – these are high quality awards that any operator should be proud to hang on the wall of their shack! Check out previous years results further down this page for actual pictures of previously awarded plaques.

The first annual plaque season started in 2018 when N3VEM and K0ATZ decided to sponser a plaque each – one for hunters and one for activators. The event was very successful, so after the first year, we extended sponsorship opportunities and made a larger selection of plaques available. If you or your club are considering sponsoring a plaque, please review the sponsorship information available here

POTA Code of Conduct:

To take part in Parks on the Air program, one must register on the website.  Parks on the Air, Inc. reserves the right to remove all access, and/or data, if one does not adhere to our Code of Conduct. The decision of the Administration Team/President will be final.

Parks on the Air (POTA) Rules:

  • The activator and all the equipment you use must be within the perimeters of the park, and on public property. Activators cannot attempt to activate from any private property as the spirit of the POTA program is to get out of the house and operate, but you can do it from a vehicle/park bench/various methods etc. The park must be OPEN. Use the map on the POTA site in combination with Google Maps, and official park sites to find the official boundaries. If the park is part of a trail system or river, you need to be within 100 feet of the trail or river. You may never trespass on private property to access state/provincial or federal lands without permission. You are taking part in this program at your own risk to following the proper law, and injury/death. The hunter can contact the activator from home or any other property.

  • Simultaneous activations of multiple references (“Multi-loc” or “two-fer”, “three-fer” etc) are possible with POTA. This should be
    considered an intermediate level skill as putting a multi-loc on the air may generate significant interest by hunters. Activators should be comfortable with running pile-ups and proper logging of single references before attempting to run multiple parks at once.
    a. All standard POTA rules apply to park boundaries for each reference area being activated. It is the activator’s responsibility to determine that operating location for their activation is valid for each reference area being activated.
    b. Separate log files must be submitted for each of the references being activated.

  • You must make a minimum of 10 QSOs for your activity to count toward a POTA activation. This must be done within the same day in Zulu Time 00:00 – 23:59.

  • Hunters still gain credit, even if the activator hasn’t reached 10 QSOs. For hunters and activators to gain credit though, the activator MUST send the log in.

  • One log can cover multiple days of activity, this includes club call signs and multiple operators One log per park please.

  • Land repeaters are NOT allowed, but satellite contacts, and all other types are permitted.

  • POTA is operated by a small group of volunteers with limited resources, so there is a limited capacity to add new parks. POTA applies the following qualification rules for adding new parks…
    a. All new parks must be owned and operated by a State/Provincial or Federal/National agency. We cannot include parks that have part/shared ownership, sponsorship, or are operated by private organizations or local governments (ex. City Parks, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, etc.)
    b. POTA does not create “sub-parks” within existing parks if both parks are owned and operated by the same State/Provincial or Federal/National agency.
    c. POTA requires the activator to research the park to determine that activation is within official park boundaries, and to determine that the park is open and safe to access. Any parks that do not offer an informational website and/or recent boundary map cannot be included.

Rib Mountain State Park (Parks on the Air POTA)

It’s New Year’s Eve I take a trip up our local hill to activate Rib Mountain State Park in North Central Wisconsin (POTA K-1473). The weather was nice, the views awesome, but the noise on 40m; not so much.

POTA Intro to Activating – This is an unlisted video, so it cannot be embedded into the page. It will open on You Tube and play.

POTA Logging Made EasyDownload

Download POTA CSV template file

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