Tucked deep within Chestnut Ridge Park, the Eternal Flame Falls EarthCache (GC10VMY) is a natural phenomenon – a natural gas leak underneath a waterfall that just happens to be burning.
Thanks to Eric and Joe, a.k.a Szuchie and TWU, the natural gas leak under the waterfall is also a difficulty 1, terrain 3 EarthCache located in Western New York that geocachers can explore.
The flame under the cascade of water embodies the spirit of nature that gives the spot an almost sacred feel. It is said that the combination of the falls and the natural gas leak is the only one of its kind on the planet, giving geocachers all the more reason to embark on an adventure to witness nature at its best.
Szuchie and TWU’s inspiration for an EarthCache at this location was simply due to their amazement by what they saw when they first visited the park. Szuchie says, “From a caching standpoint – you don’t get too many things more fantastic than this.”
According to the cache page, ‘upon entering the gorge and approaching the base of Eternal Flame Falls, cachers will notice a change in the ambient aroma.’ That aroma is methane, the natural gas that leaks from the cave, which lies at the base of the waterfalls. The natural gas can be lit to produce the flame.
Hike up to the EarthCache site
The 403 geocachers who logged a “Found it” have shared over 500 incredible images and written the most elaborate logs about their experience.
One geocacher writes, “Wow – what an exceptional place and phenomenon. The Eternal Flame Falls came on my radar when I started checking caches by favorite points and I knew I really wanted to see this. Today was the day since LCSM and I were in the Buffalo area for the Cache-a-Day Challenge Finale. We continued here for our second goal of the day and it did not disappoint. Although the trail is well marked, we missed a turn (when we were distracted by another cache) and ended up on the Orange Trail which took us above the flame where we could see it but not reach it. We circled around, consulted the map at the kiosk, and redirected ourselves for the appropriate approach. I was especially delighted that there was still some water here in the falls despite the dry summer, as it is really the fire and water combination that is mesmerizing. Took our photos and observations, and headed back along the beautiful creek bed. Many thanks for this exceptional EarthCache – I guess there really is natural gas here in NYS! Brought a BBQ lighter but did not need to use it as the flames were already flickering away.”
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Spring, summer, autumn or winter…the flame can be ignited year round