Eternal Flame Falls

Eternal Flame Falls near Ontario is literally on fire

Eternal Flame Falls is a mesmerizing natural wonder just across the U.S. border, where you'll find a fascinating flame that burns year-round hidden behind a cascading waterfall.

Just over a 2 hour drive from Toronto, the falls are located in Chestnut Ridge Park, just outside Buffalo, New York.

A moderate 20 minute hike from the parking lot will lead you to the natural phenomenon, and while the waterfall's flow may be miniscule during the dry summer months, it is the best time to get a good view of the burning flame.

When it is flowing, Eternal Flame Falls is a 9 metre tall cascade composed of two segments. The top portion is a narrow 2.5 metre tall flow, which spreads out to nearly double the width at the second tier below.

To the right of the falls however is where you'll find what you came for: a small grotto housing the ever-burning flame.

Captivating nature lovers and geologists for years, it was determined that a natural gas spring within the rock ignites upon contact with the air, creating a surreal spectacle where fire and water coexist naturally.

The flame varies between 10 to 20 centimetres in height. Occasionally, the fire does get extinguished and must be re-lit.

Besides viewing the eternal flame, there is plenty to do and see in the surrounding area. The park has a variety of hiking trails, picnicking areas, and is popular for birdwatching.

Open year-round, the park is currently free to visit. Just don't forget to bring your passport as it is located in the U.S.

If you're looking for more waterfalls closer to home, Ontario is home to hundreds ranging from small cascades to the epic Niagara Falls.

Lead photo by

Kim Carpenter

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