Beaches that Allow Bonfires in Massachusetts

Hoping to enjoy a nice campfire at the beach this summer? Due to the threat of wildfires, campfires are actually not allowed at most beaches in Massachusetts except for a select few.

The few beaches where beach fires are allowed are either federally-owned beaches or they are on the peninsula of Cape Cod or on island beaches that are far away from the mainland.

The following is a list of beaches that allow bonfires in Massachusetts:

Barnstable:

Barnstable only allows bonfires on Sandy Neck Beach. A Sandy Neck campfire permit is required. To obtain a permit you must purchase one at the Sandy Neck Gatehouse after 5PM on the day of the campfire. Permits are limited. This permit is included with an ORV camping permit.

Campfires are allowed on Sandy Neck Beach May 1 through October 31 at 7PM or sunset whichever comes first. Campfires are prohibited at all other times of the year.

In addition to allowing campfires, Sandy Neck Beach is also the only beach in Massachusetts that allows tent camping on the beach.

Eastham:

Eastham beaches are a part of the Cape Cod National Seashore which allows beach fires but requires beachgoers to obtain a fire permit first.

Only a limited number of permits are available per beach each day. These permits can be obtained by calling the Salt Pond Visitor Center at 508-255-3421.

Beaches in Eastham include:

Fires must be built on the open beach in designated areas and may not exceed three feet in height. Fires must be extinguished no later than 11:30 PM.

Provincetown:

Bonfires are not allowed on town beaches in Provincetown but they are allowed on select beaches in Provincetown that are owned and maintained by the Cape Cod National Seashore, which include Race Point and Herring Cove, and on beaches on the Off-Road Vehicle corridor.

The Cape Cod National Seashore requires a permit for each bonfire, and there is a limited number of permits available every day.

To reserve a permit you must visit Province Lands Visitor Center on Race Point Road. The permit is free, but you must apply for it three days before your bonfire, and pick it up at the Visitor Center by 3:30pm on the day of the bonfire.

Demand for bonfire permits is high during the summer and the line for permits often starts before the Visitor Center opens at 8AM, so plan accordingly.

To apply for a permit for one of the off-road beaches, you must apply for it at the Race Point Ranger Station.

Truro:

Beach fires are allowed on select town beaches in Truro but a permit is required. Beach fire permits are issued by the Truro Recreation & Beach Department and the Truro Fire Department. Permits are limited and must be purchased online from 9AM to 3PM on the day of the beach fire.

Beaches in Truro that allow fires:

  • Ballston Beach (up to six permits per day)
  • Beach Point (up to two permits per day)
  • Coast Guard Beach (up to four permits per day)
  • Corn Hill Beach (up to five permits per day)
  • Fisher Beach (up to two permits per day)
  • Head of the Meadow Beach (up to six permits per day)
  • Noons Landing (up to two permits per day)

Wellfleet:

Beach fires are only allowed on three ocean-side beaches in Wellfleet, which are:

  • Whitecrest Beach (up to 10 permits per day)
  • Maguire Landing at LeCount Hollow (up to 10 permits per day)
  • Newcomb Hollow Beach (up to 10 permits per day)

Beach fire permits are required during the summer months, between the third Saturday in June and Labor Day, and are issued by the Beach Department on a first come, first served basis on the day of the beach fire. Permits are not issued in advance.

Permits may be obtained at the Wellfleet Beach Office located at 255 Commercial Street, Wellfleet during the summer season between 8:30AM and 4PM daily.

Beach fires must be small with flames less than three feet high and no accelerants, pressure treated wood or wood containing nails are allowed. Fires must be built on the open beach and are not allowed in vegetated areas or at the base of the dunes.

During the off-season, no permit is required but beachgoers must comply with the Beach Department’s rules for beach fires.

Wellfleet also has another ocean-side beach, Marconi Beach, but it is owned and maintained by the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The Cape Cod National Seashore allows beach fires but it requires a permit for each bonfire and there is a limited number of permits available every day. Permits for Marconi Beach must be obtained at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham.

Boston:

Campfires are allowed on the beaches on the Boston Harbor Islands. Beach campfires must be below the high tide line and must be under three feet in height or diameter.

No outside firewood is permitted. Firewood may be gathered naturally from fallen wood near campsites and beaches.

If you live near one of these beaches and would like to have a bonfire, check out this article on how to build a beach bonfire or this article on beach bonfire games.

If you are looking to visit more beaches in Massachusetts, check out these articles on state beaches, free beaches, beaches with boardwalks and the warmest beaches in Massachusetts.

Sources:
Can I have a Fire on the Beach?” Town of Eastham, eastham-ma.gov/FAQ.aspx?QID=123
Beach Fires.” Town of Truro Massachusetts, www.truro-ma.gov/truro-beach-office/pages/beach-fires-1
Want to Have a Bonfire?” Ptownie, ptownie.com/bonfires-in-provincetown-guide/
Beach Fires.” Town of Wellfleet Massachusetts, wellfleet-ma.gov/fire-rescue/pages/beach-fires
Sandy Neck Beach Status.” Town of Barnstable, town.barnstable.ma.us/sandyneckpark/orvbeach/beachstatus.aspx
Permits and Reservations.” Cape Cod National Seashore, nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm
Safety.” Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, nps.gov/boha/planyourvisit/safety.htm
Camping.” Boston Harbor Islands National & State Park, bostonharborislands.org/camping/

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. In addition to his website, William has contributed travel stories and articles to various travel publications, and his work has been featured in several magazines and online platforms. He also collaborates with tourism boards and travel companies to promote sustainable and responsible travel practices. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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