On a recent trip to the Buffalo area, we visited a county park where a hiker told us about Eternal Flame Falls. We headed over, definitely interested in checking out something different. This park has an eternal flame that is powered by natural gas seeping through cracks in the rocks.
We used Google Maps to get there, heading south on Route 277. As we reached Chestnut Ridge Park, there was a big sign directing us towards the Eternal Flame 1.5 miles up the road, so we continued. The parking lot is very large and labeled as the Eternal Flame lot. We were there late in the afternoon, and considering the size of the parking lot and also the worn trail, we are pretty sure this place gets packed.
The trailhead has a lot of information, and there are also brochures / trail maps you can take with you.
The trail is very clearly labeled with numbered “flames” on the trees. I believe it went from #1-#25, and the trail isn’t long (I believe about .5-.6 of a mile each way). Even when we head back out, the numbers count down for you.
The trail appears to be well-used, with wide, well-packed paths. There are other trails in the park, so if you are going there to see the Eternal Flame specifically, be sure to follow the flame markers.
The trail is fairly easy, and my 8 and 11 year old had no problem hiking it. We saw other little kids and some older folks as well. While there are steep portions on the trail and some slippery spots, it seems easy enough to navigate if you take your time.
There are parts of the trail that are composed of the actual stream bed. When we went, it was mostly dried up, but there could be times of year when the water is running, so be prepared for the possibility of getting your feet wet.
We saw a small trickle of a waterfall off the side of the trail on our way to the flame.
We continued walking along the stream bed to get to the flame.
The walls rise up along the stream to form a ravine.
The flame is pretty cool, and bigger than I expected. It is in a natural rock grotto that protects it from the elements.
It was definitely worth the hike to the eternal flame. The trail was short and scenic, and we had fun checking out the flame.
Check out this park online
at the Erie County Parks page here
(including a map of the trail)