The eternal flame falls


The Eternal Flame Falls is a 30-foot waterfall located in the Shale Creek Preserve, a section of Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, New York. It's known for the natural gas seeping from a grotto at the base of the falls, which can be ignited to create a small flame. This "eternal flame" is visible most of the year, though it can occasionally be extinguished and needs to be re-lit by visitors.

The falls themselves are most impressive in the spring when the water flow is high. During drier times, the flow can be considerably reduced, making the flame the main attraction.

The hike to the falls is considered moderately challenging, with a steep descent down to the creek bed. The trail was recently improved in August 2023 with the addition of stairs and railings to make it safer for hikers. However, proper footwear and caution are still recommended, especially when the ground is wet or icy.

Here are some additional details about the Eternal Flame Falls:

  • Height: 30 feet (9.1 meters)
  • Location: Shale Creek Preserve, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
  • Accessibility: Moderately challenging hike with a steep descent
  • Best time to visit: Early spring when the water flow is high

Here's some additional information you might find interesting:

  • The natural gas that fuels the flame is believed to come from deep underground rock formations.
  • The Eternal Flame Falls was once almost destroyed to make way for a disc golf course. Fortunately, local residents successfully campaigned to save the falls.
  • The falls are a popular destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

If you're planning a visit to the Eternal Flame Falls, be sure to check the weather conditions before you go. The trail can be slippery when wet, and the falls can be dangerous during times of high water flow.


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