Best Places For A Bonfire In The Pittsburgh Area (2023)

Best Places For A Bonfire In The Pittsburgh Area (1)

As the days lengthen and activities take up every second of every day, summer's evenings take on a whole new meaning. The high temps cool, the chaos of the day subsides and all that's left is a peaceful whisper of relaxation. Top off your well-deserved time off with a roaring bonfire, a handful of friends and great food and drink at one of the places listed below, and tuck in for an unforgettable summer night.

Milton Loop Campground
114 Milton Loop Lane
Route 839

(814) 257-0131

Milton Loop Campground, east of Pittsburgh on PA-28, sponsors annual events and special weekend activities, such as one of the best bonfires in all of PA.Activities are open to the public for a small entry fee, and family rates are available. This family-friendly facility would be the bestplaceto introduce the kids to the magic of marshmallow roasting, scary ghost stories and snuggly blankets in front of a roaring fire. Additional special events include pet and pirateweekends, arollickingfall festival, Christmas in July and celebrations fornotable summer and fall holidays.

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Bear Run Campground
184 Badger Hill Road
Portersville, PA 16051
(724) 368-3564

Whether you're looking for a luxurious trip with top-notch amenities or a place to park your pop-up to rough it, Bear Run Campground has you covered. Bonfire-friendly, this expansive acreage features walking/backpacking sites, canoeing and kayaking, pet-friendly lodging options and a host of seasonal events. Only 40 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, Bear Run Campground should be your number one destination for fun, frolic and bonfires this summer.

Dogwood Acres Campground
4500 Enola Road
Newville, PA 17241
(717) 776-5203

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Throughout the entire summer, Dogwood Acres Campground has a jam-packed activities calendar for men, women, children and families of all sizes. Visit for the bonfire-friendly atmosphere (built by the friendly staff; no public fires, please) and stay for 4th of July insanity, fishing contests, pirate and western weekends, pool parties and more. The best part about such an open, friendly place are the open, friendly campers – make friends, build relationships and enjoy many summers together under Dogwood's rich forest canopy.

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Country Haven Campground
354 Springville Road
New Holland, PA 17557
(717) 354-7926

Tucked right into the heart of Amish Country lies Country Haven Campground. If you're looking for a quiet retreat with rolling bonfires, serene water and lush scenery, this gorgeous campground awaits you. Close nearby attractions include the historic Strasburg Railroad and Museum, Lancaster's Rockvale Outlets, Tanger Outlets and the famed town of Intercourse, PA. The campground itself is pet-friendly, welcomes tents, RVs and mobile homes and offers sites with full hookups or cottages for rent.

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Mountain Top Campground
873 Sun Mine Road
Tarentum, PA 15084
(724) 224-1511

A mere 20 miles from Pittsburgh, and 45 minutes from the Meadows Casino, Mountain Top Campground is the perfect playground for outdoor fun aficionados. Family owned and operated, Mountain Top offers electric and water, back-in and pull-through sites for larger-than-average RVs and campers. Build your own roaring fire in one of Mountain Top's expansive units, tuck in and enjoy a peaceful, serene evening under the stars. In the morning, be sure to explore all that Tarentum has to offer, including many of nearby Pittsburgh's fun attraction and amenities.

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Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn't studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she's out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at

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Can you have a bonfire in the city of Pittsburgh? ›

The city's rules are similar to the county's. Last May, Pittsburgh officials made it legal to have recreational outdoor fires so long as the fire is in an appropriate burning device and residents burn only clean wood, says Fire Battalion Chief Chuck Lenz of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.

Can you have a bonfire on dirt? ›

Can you build a fire pit on dirt? Yes, you can build a fire pit on dirt. Make sure the dirt is compact and level.

What is there to do around a bonfire? ›

8 Campfire Games for the Whole Family
  • Sound Train. Players agree on an initial sound — for example, 'p' or 'sh' — and take turns saying a new word that begins with the chosen sound. ...
  • I Went to Market. ...
  • Once Upon a Time. ...
  • Telephone. ...
  • The Name Game. ...
  • 20 Questions. ...
  • Two Truths and a Lie. ...
  • Fortunately/Unfortunately.
Jun 18, 2017

Is it legal to have a fire in Pittsburgh? ›

Open burning is prohibited except by permit or when it is done in a manner which contributes a negligible amount of air contaminants meaning: No material other than clean wood, propane, or natural gas may be burned EXCEPT for commercially available fire logs, paraffin logs, or wood pellets.

Can you burn in Allegheny County? ›

Wood burning is legal in Allegheny County, however, all open burning must be done in compliance with the ACHD regulation. The easiest way to avoid fines, minimize your contribution to regional air pollution and protect the health of your family and neighbors, is to not burn.

How far does a fire pit have to be from a house in Pennsylvania? ›

It has to be 15 feet away from any structure. That includes decks and balconies. It also can't be placed on a deck, inside a tent or on or under a roof. The fire must be attended to at all times until it's extinguished.

Are fire pits legal in PA? ›

Fires must be three (3) feet or less in diameter and two (2) feet or less in heights. Fires shall be at least 25 feet from any structure, property line and combustible material. Only dried seasoned wood may be burned. Fires shall be in a pit or contained by a protective barrier.

Can you burn on Sundays in PA? ›

No burning shall be permitted on Sundays, national holidays. (b) Outdoor burning is prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous. (c) Materials that may be burned are ordinary household class A debris, such as wood, paper, cloth and related materials.

Can I put a fire pit on grass? ›

Fire pits can be placed directly on top of grass. However, without proper precaution, there can be major damage to the grass. It is recommended to place a mat or other material underneath to avoid damage.

Is it illegal to have a bonfire? ›

There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause if prejudicial to health or a nuisance to the neighbourhood. Offenders can be fined £5,000 (£20,000 for industrial, trade or business premises).

How far should fire pit be from house? ›

Place your fire pit at a safe distance (10-25 feet) from any flammable structures or surfaces. This includes your house, trees, shed, vehicle, neighbors' property, and wood deck, among other things. Keep your fire pit away from overhanging branches. A 21-foot clearance is standard for most municipalities.

What is the difference between a campfire and a bonfire? ›

When comparing a campfire vs bonfire, a bonfire is much bigger. They're typically built for a celebration, large outdoor event, or used as a signaling device. While a bonfire is a controlled fire, the overall size makes the fire more hazardous than the smaller campfire.

What is a campfire campfire? ›

A campfire is a fire at a campsite that provides light and warmth, and heat for cooking. It can also serve as a beacon, and an insect and predator deterrent. Established campgrounds often provide a stone or steel fire ring for safety.


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