Eternal Flame Trail

Erie County, New York

Elevation Gain181ft
Trailhead Elevation1,198ft
Elevation Min/Max1077/1198ft
Elevation Start/End1198/1198ft

Eternal Flame Trail

Eternal Flame Trail is a hiking trail in Erie County, New York. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 1,198 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 181 feet. The Eternal Flame Parking is near the trailhead. The Eternal Flame Falls attraction can be seen along the trail. There is also a wood along the trail.

Eternal Flame Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York: A Finders' Guide (Footprint Press)
Rich & Sue Freeman
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"Eternal Flame Falls cuts deep into a gorge through a layer of Hanover Shale of the Late Devonian Epoch that is 85 to 95-feet thick. This shale is greenish-gray to gray colored with some black bands. The water of Shale Creek slides over the rough shale in two distinct stages to form the waterfall. The walk to this waterfall begins through a pleasant forest of pine, maple and hemlock trees, then heads steeply into the gorge on a well-trodden dirt trail. The final 0.2 mile requires a walk in the creekbed. Upon entering the gorge at the base of Eternal Flame Falls you’ll notice a change in the ambient aroma. What you smell is the natural gas that leaks from between the shale layers. When we visited in late August, two flames were burning at eye level to the right of the waterfall, each in its own little indented area in the shale. We’ve heard there can be 3 flames visible, sometimes even behind a wall of water." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in New York (Falcon Guides)
Randi Minetor
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"A flame powered by a natural gas source in a grotto behind a waterfall: What could be more intriguing? Find your way down the gorge and up the creek to witness this fascinating phenomenon." Read more
"If Erie County Parks and Recreation decided to choose a signature hike—a trail that provided the most unusual and gratifying outdoor experience in the area—the Eternal Flame Trail at Chestnut Ridge Park might qualify. In just 0.75 of a mile, this hike descends through a tranquil hardwood forest into a deep ravine sliced out of the rock by Shale Creek, then crisscrosses the creek itself on whatever rocks and logs may have landed here during the area’s legendary storms." Read more

Eternal Flame Trail Reviews

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I come down this trial several times a year. Great in first spring then in early fall to see the changes. Challenging in winter. But, I still get sick with the amount of trash that can accumulate. very good this last trip though
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Great trail for the family. A couple parts are steep but going slow gets the job done.
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Four adults and nine eight year old cub scouts took this trail. We enjoyed the scenery, the beautiful walk and were in awe at the beautiful waterfall and eternal flame at the end of the trail. Wwe could not beleive that this beauty was 20 minutes from our homes and known to only two of our group. Can;t wait to go back again. We did our public service and did a spring clean up and found very littel garbage on the trail.

Eternal Flame Trail Photos

Trail Information

Erie County
Nearby City
Skill Level
Erie County Parks and Recreation, 95 Franklin St., Rm. 1359, Buffalo 14202; (716) 858-8355;
Local Contacts .php?q=chestnut-ridge-park-map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018