Eternal Flame Falls: New York State’s Mysterious Enduring Flame

Most of the time, a natural gas leak is cause for alarm. However, there are situations where a small amount of natural gas seepage can put on quite a show. Such is the case at Eternal Flame Falls in Orchard Park, New York. Eternal Flame Falls features a thundering waterfall with a robust orange flame that burns in a tiny cavern in the center of the falls. Thousands of years of tectonic activity has created a pocket of gases such as ethane and propane which steadily rise from the depths of the earth and feed an enduring flame which has wowed visitors for centuries.

Despite extensive study, scientists aren’t entirely sure how a sizable flame endlessly burns in a perpetually cool, damp environment. The celebrated eternal flame does go dark on occasion. Thankfully, the eternal flame is relatively easy to relight. A barbeque lighter will do the trick. Just make sure that you stand back and exercise caution while attempting to summon the eternal flame so that you don’t singe your hair or clothes.

Eternal Flame Falls

Eternal Flame Falls is one of the most enchanting sights in the magic kingdom that is upstate New York. Seeing fire and water meld together so seamlessly is truly otherworldly. It is no wonder that countless hikers have claimed to see all sorts of mystical creatures—including elves, fairies, and even a few restless spirits—flitting about.

A natural-gas flame burns in a small grotto at the base of Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Ridge County Park

The path to Eternal Flame Falls can be muddy at times, so sturdy hiking boots are certainly recommended. Muddy boots are a small price to pay to see a dancing flame behind a curtain of flowing water. Visiting Eternal Flame Falls after the first snowstorm of the year is breathtaking beyond compare. The sight of a vibrant orange flame surrounded by snow will surely warm your bones on the coldest day of winter.

Location:
6121 Chestnut Ridge Rd
Orchard Park, New York, 14127
United States

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