There's something amazing hiding in the woods of New York State... have you been to Eternal Flame Falls?

The name seems to defy logic, but there's nothing exaggerated about the magical destination in Chestnut Ridge Park. An ever-burning flame glows from behind the waterfall that is open to visitors... if they can find it.

Photograph of eternal flame falls in Orchard Park, NY
Eternal Flame Falls is one of the coolest destinations in New York... if you can find it (Google)

Eternal Flame Falls in Orchard Park, NY

The waterfall, located in Orchard Park, NY, keeps its flame burning thanks to a unique geological condition: an organic gas leak. Hikers describe a "rotten egg smell" as they approach the falls caused by natural gas seeping through the porous shale rock. An amazing combination of coincidence and circumstance takes it a step further, however, to create the "eternal flame".

How the Flame Stays "Eternal"

While water is generally considered the arch-nemesis of fire, it turns out that in this instance, the waterfall seems to be helping the flame. The cave-like enclosure of the flame, complete with the running water in front of it, most likely guards the flame from being extinguished, leading to its "eternal" nickname.

Map of Eternal Flame Falls in Orchard Park, NY
"Eternal Flame Falls" is located in Orchard Park, NY (Google/Outdoors via YouTube)

How to Visit Eternal Flame Falls in New York State

Despite its near-perfect location, the eternal flame is occasionally snuffed. Luckily, it only takes an ambitious hiker with a lighter, and the flame is once again ignited. Here's how you can experience the phenomenon for yourself.

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Eternal Flame Falls Location in New York

The Eternal Flame is located in Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY, but seeing the flame isn't so simple. Many hikers reported difficulties finding the waterfall (the exact coordinates are reportedly N 42.70158 / W 78.75113), though a thorough description of the best way to find the flame can be found here.

Cool Underground Tunnel Takes You Behind a Majestic Waterfall in New York

A cool underground tunnel takes you behind a waterfall in one New York State park.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

Don't Overlook These Magnificent Upstate New York Waterfalls!

There are too-many-to-count waterfalls scattered over the vast Upstate New York region. Most of them are hidden in woods and forests which are only infrequently stumbled upon by hikers and explorers. But there are some that need to be noted. Niagara Falls, of course, is the most famous waterfall in the world, so no need to highlight them here. But here is a starter list of a bunch of waterfalls, big and small, that you might want to put on your summer bucket list. They are all fun!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio