The Eternal Flame Falls is a small waterfall in the Shale Creek Preserve, a section of Chestnut Ridge County Park where the creek cuts deep into a gorge through a layer of greenish-gray rock called Hanover Shale.
To get to the Eternal Flame Falls, park at N 42° 41.996 W 078° 45.143 (Seufert Road), and follow the Blue Trail marked with blue wooden blocks. Please do not try and find an alternate way to the cache area as the cliff walls are loose shale and clay mud and are extremely slippery. The Blue Trail is well marked and of moderate to steep terrain. Cachers will also need to cross the water at a couple points along the trail so please come prepared.
Upon entering the gorge and approaching the base of Eternal Flame Falls, cachers will notice a change in the ambient aroma. What you smell is the natural gas that leaks from between the shale layers. At the base of the waterfall you will find a small grotto that emits natural gas which can be lit to produce a small flame.
The natural gas that is escaping from this small grotto is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane. It is found in oil fields and natural gas fields, and in coal beds. When methane-rich gases are produced by the anaerobic decay of non-fossil organic material, these are referred to as biogas. Sources of biogas include swamps, marshes as well as man-made entities such as landfills, sewage and manure storage facilities. The result of this natural gas leak is two and sometimes three burning flames behind a wall of water.
To log this unique cache, please take note of the number of distinct flames you have found, as well as the length of these flames and the general size of the grotto that houses this spectacular phenomenon. Please email this information to Szuchie through the email link in the profile in order to get credit for this cache. Posting a picture of you and your GPS (along with your geo-group) is optional, although once required under the "old" Earthcache guidelines. This email is mandatory to log this cache, or your log will be deleted.