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High school sophomore publishes his second book

Eric Feichthaler Jr.’s guide highlights national parks

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Feb 25, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED The cover of Eric Feichthaler Jr.'s new book.

A second edition has been published by an Oasis Charter School sophomore to share his experience, and passion, for national parks.

Eric Feichthaler Jr. recently published “A Junior Ranger’s Guide to the US National Parks – Second Edition Reviews of Parks Visited from 2015 through 2020,” which is available on Amazon.

“I went to 25 national parks in 2020 despite COVID,” he said, adding this included many new national parks.

“The parks were different, less crowded, very enjoyable. It is a nice journal of all of my journeys, travels and expeditions.”

He began visiting national parks and documenting his travels in a journal while at the parks at age 8. This was turned into his first book, published last May. The books include Feichthaler’s illustrations, a list of wildlife spotted, scenery on hikes, as well as different activities he was able to do at the parks. Feichthaler said the book also talks about bad weather, which sometimes provides some nice sights, such as rainbows.

ERIC FEICHTHALER JR. Bridalveil Falls.

“I get a little more detailed in the tips for when you are visiting the parks and whether I recommend going. The writing is, overall, very similar,” he said.

One of the parks highlighted is Granite Park Chalet, located in north Montana, where he had the opportunity to stay in the back country, alone in the wilderness with his family. Although he had visited the park before, he only had an opportunity to go two miles up the road.

“It was my first real experience there. It was amazing. The sunset colors were beautiful. The weather wasn’t great, but we got to see rainbows,” Feichthaler said.

He also had the opportunity to see deer.

The book also highlights revisiting Yellowstone National Park, “the best experience” because they got to see a black wolf far in the distance.

ERIC FEICHTHALER JR. A Vermillion flycatcher.

“There was so much we got to see and did. It was my favorite experience,” Feichthaler said.

On average, he spends about two days at a national park, sometimes with his brother and dad, but often times with all six of his family members.

His parents are Eric Feichthaler, a local attorney and former mayor of Cape Coral, and Mary Feichthaler, a Certified Public Accountant.

Eric’s siblings are Tyler, 14, Emily, 12, and Lachlan, 9, all of whom attend the City of Cape Coral municipal charter schools.

Eric Jr. said he mostly takes trips to the national parks during summer vacation, with the occasional trip to a close park on long weekends.

He plans on seeing quite a few more this summer, as there are only 12 left on his list to visit, one of which was introduced last month.

“Some of the new ones were far better than I expected. A lot of hidden gems that I got to go to,” Feichthaler said.

As soon as he visits more parks, he said he will publish another book.

Those interested in seeing Feichthaler’s photos and videos from the national parks he has visited may visit his YouTube channel “National Park Wild.” He said he created the YouTube channel because he really wanted to share his thoughts through discussions, which he enjoys doing with others who love national parks as well.

“I just hit 100 subscribers a few days ago and it is growing quite a bit,” he said. “I have made some friends who share a passion for national parks through the YouTube channel.” High school sophomore publishes second book