I recommend that if you are just getting started with portable HF operating that you look into the Parks on the Air program. Parks on the air or “POTA” allows you to operate at various State Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and National Parks. There are awards given to both activators and hunters.

Sarah WØASA and I at Lake Vermilion State Park, Tower, MN

Sarah, Asa, and I have been frequenting Bear Head Lake State Park and Lake Vermilion State Park. These parks are right near home which makes it very convenient and they’re very scenic. We even ventured down south to Jay Cooke State Park which is near Duluth. Most of the time the weather was great. Jay Cooke State Park had wind, rain, and even a little bit of snow so the activation was done inside the Jeep.

Exploring the park is just as fun. Unfortunately it was too cold and wet to operate outside at Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, MN

So far all Minnesota activations have been quite successful even gaining some DX contacts. 

WØPHX operating from the fishing pier at Bear Head Lake State Park, Ely, MN

One thing I like to do while at a park is make contact with another park. These are also known as park to park QSOs.

POTA is definitely going to get us out and about and explore all of the State Parks in Minnesota.