Hike to Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Ridge Park

Eternal Flame Trailhead

A flame burning methane gas from the shale stone behind the waterfall!

I'd heard two things about this particular waterfall before seeing it: the flame isn't always lit (so bring a lighter) and the current depends on the rain. 

Parking was simple; the falls is in the corner of Chestnut Ridge Park and there are many entrances, but the hike itself has it's own parking area off Seufert Road and Route 277. It's a short mile and a half hike total and there are easy to follow flame trail markers that lead you to the falls itself. 

The creek is dependent on rainfall so it may not be running very strong. The trail is clean and well cared for until you get down to the creek where it loops back and forth across the water, but there are lots of options and debris to hop on and avoid getting wet.

Just follow until you reach the falls. There flame markers are present even while you're walking beside the creek so there's not really a way to get lost.

There will be signs reminding you not to climb the shale stone as it is fragile. 

You will be able to smell the methane leaks and even see bubble in the water if it's flowing well enough.

There is a gap in the back of the falls behind the water, if the flame isn't already lit when you get their just light it yourself. It catches easily and will burn steadily. 

Because the trail isn't a boardwalk or staircase there isn't much traffic, you may see some people but we had the whole hike to ourselves. It's downhill on the way there and then uphill on the way back! Enjoy! 

Pack List

  • Lighter
  • Water
  • Long pants (walking through brush at some points)
  • Optional stick (it's uphill on the return trip)
  • Camera
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RT Distance 1.5 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Hike in summer

I went on this hike on a warm sunny 35 degree day in early spring. It was a beautiful hike down the raven to the falls. The was a steady stream on hikers ahead of and behind us. The flame was burning when we got there and it was worth the long drive and short hike to see it. I would move this hike from easy to moderate. There are steep declines and everything was covered in snow and ice. Also even without the snow and ice, I wouldn't have made it there without getting wet. All in all it was a great hike nestled in a park full of great hikes. I would like to do this hike again in the summer if I ever pass through the area again.


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