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Eternal Flame Trail closed indefinitely after 2 rescues on Saturday

The popular hiking destination is closed until further notice after multiple people had to be rescued from the ravine on Saturday.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — People hoping to visit Chestnut Ridge Park's Eternal Flame Trail for the holiday weekend will have to wait as the popular hiking spot has been closed until further notice.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted on Saturday night that there were two incidents during the day that led to the closure of the trail.

First responders had to extract individuals from the ravine both times, according to Poloncarz.

If the trail is on your list of plans this summer, you'll need to follow Erie County Parks on Twitter to await the announcement of its reopening. 

For a list of other Erie County Parks you can visit instead, click here.

The closure comes on a holiday weekend where Erie County officials urged residents to stay disciplined in attempting to prevent the spread of COVID-19, knowing that parks and beaches could draw crowds.

Erie County's Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, reminded people on Friday to continue the practices that have led to the Western New York region reaching Phase 1 reopening or "we'll be right back where we started."

She encouraged people to visit family and friends virtually and to avoid large crowds if they did venture outside. Three beaches were opening across Western New York for the Memorial Day weekend.

“We still need to wear a mask at all times, even when the weather is nice and you might get a little bit warm behind the mask. That’s still a better situation than a huge outbreak in the community and people’s lives lost,” Burstein said.

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