Increasing numbers of hikers, scientists and even a crew from a TV show are visiting Chestnut Ridge Park to glimpse the ‘world record’ Eternal Flame.
The wisp of fire flickers in a hollow behind a forest waterfall. The once-obscure marvel known as the Eternal Flame, located on a shale creek bed in Chestnut Ridge Park, is attracting increasing numbers of admiring hikers, scientists and even a crew from a new, yet-to-be-named Travel Channel show about unusual places.
More people have been coming to see the waterfall flame since research published last year declared it a “world record” natural gas “seep,” or leak, for the high-concentration ethane and propane – about 1 kilogram of gas a day – released from shale somewhere beneath the crack.
With visitors like the Travel Channel crew, geologists and world travelers making the trip to Orchard Park, the Erie County Parks Department has made the half-mile trail more accessible. A big sign, about two years old, marks the trailhead at the Corral parking lot on Route 277. New pictures of little flames mark the trees along the path so people can find their way down steps and over roots to the creek bed that leads to the flame.