Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Field Trip: Hiking to the Eternal Flame

We are very blessed to have some really neat nature trails very close to our home. Recently, we went on a short hike to the Eternal Flame in Chestnut Ridge Park, in Orchard Park.

It was a gorgeous Fall day, and plenty of people were there enjoying the walk.

The Eternal Flame is a series of cracks in a shale rock gorge, where harmless natural gas leaks up from the earth. Most of the gas springs are below the surface of the creek, where if you observe closely, you can see tiny bubbles in the shallow water. There is one large fissure situated in the middle of a waterfall though, that has an amazing site. As the gas hits the air, a flame glows brightly in a small cove behind the trickling waterfall. It is an amazing site to see, and well worth the 3/4 mile trek down the side of the gorge, and across the creek bed, to get to the end of the trail.

Enjoying a peaceful walk down the creek bed heading towards the Flame at the end of the trail.

Looking up the sides of the gorge from below.

Approaching the Flame, and admiring the waterfall.

The Flame is visible in the cove behind the waterfall.

A closer view of the Flame.

The hike back up the side of the gorge is moderately strenuous. We were grateful that boy scouts keep up the trail and have built in some stairs on the steepest parts of the trail for use by hikers.

After taking the customary pictures of the flame, and exploring the surroundings, we headed over to the top of the big hill at Chestnut Ridge Park to take a beautiful Fall picture of the downtown skyline. In the distance, Lake Erie can even be seen, along with the windmills on the shoreline.

Looking out over Buffalo from the top of the hill at Chestnut Ridge Park.

I am looking forward to making this trip again. It is a 1 1/2 mile round trip hike, and can be done by children and adults alike.The gorge is lovely! You won't regret this hike!

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