“We’ve been donut fanatics for a long time, and there’s nothing better than meeting and talking with others who are like-minded,” says Glen Huey of The Donut Dude of the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio. If you, too, love donuts, here is a trail you will never forget, with all the sugary treats you can eat on a drive to remember.
“The concept of the Donut Trail is perfect for family events or friends looking to share a fun time, especially given the times we face today,” according to Huey.
“The Butler County Donut Trail is best experienced by car,” says Tracy Kocher, vice president of marketing and communications for the Butler County Visitors Bureau and one of the founders of the trail.
Since 2016, when the trail opened for the public, more than 25,000 people from 50 states and 22 countries worldwide have completed the itinerary armed with a map and a passport filled with stamps collected along the way, redeemable for a Butler County Donut Trail T-shirt. The passport and map are available at the Butler County Visitors Bureau, where folks can also pick up complimentary masks.
The Butler County Donut Trail map lists 13 donut shops specializing in different fried confections, all creatively decorated, with tempting flavors and toppings.
The Donut Dude, which joined the Butler County Donut Trail this summer, has the occasional savory donut special, in addition to a regular jalapeño-cheddar fritter, to attract more than just sugar addicts.
The owners say they are becoming known for those as well as their apple fritters, and also suggest their fried croissants and traditional custard or white cream-filled donuts.
Every other stop on the Donut Trail has a signature donut, too: The Central Pastry Shop’s “Ugly” is dense and crispy, and their cinnamon squares are finger-licking good.
Steeped in a long Cincinnati tradition, Holtman’s Donuts flaunts a faultless maple bacon donut, among other specials.
Just across the street from the legendary Jungle Jim’s International Market, Jupiter Coffee & Donuts sells its maple-frosted donuts.
At Kelly’s Bakery in Hamilton, s’mores donuts, among the many options, please patrons. Insider’s tip: Try their buckeye donuts.
In a hot-pink building along the Butler County Donut Trail, you will find Martin’s Donuts, specializing in banana cream-pie donuts and cherry cheesecake donuts.
With a history of more than 50 years of donut-frying goodness, Milton’s Donuts’ fried cheese danishes offer a taste of the Old World.
Go for Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery in Millville for mini donuts, especially the peanut butter and chocolate ones.
At the Oxford Doughnut Shoppe, just next to Miami University, you will find gargantuan portions of kettle-fried cake donuts in a wide variety of flavors.
If you are on the market for a pretzel-shaped donut, look no further than Ross Bakery. It is a sublime triple-size donut.
Stan the Donut Man in West Chester has served luscious donutty creations for more than 20 years. Go for the pineapple fritters to add some exotic flavor to your Butler County Donut Trail adventure.
Since joining the Butler County Donut Trail in 2019, The Donut Hole by Milton’s Donuts has earned an outstanding reputation for their Oreo and cherry delight donuts.
The Donut Spot flaunts a raspberry cheesecake donut that will knock your socks off.
The donut shops, one for every 15,000 residents, are just part of the region’s appeal. Visitors can enjoy landscapes, parks, playgrounds, and all kinds of activities for all ages.
EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester, just seven minutes’ drive from either Stan the Donut Man or The Donut Dude, is a fantastic stop for families visiting the area with children. Home to the world’s largest indoor model railroad display, this venue also houses the American Railroad Museum and the A-Maze-N Funhouse, with a fun mirror maze reminiscent of an old-time circus.
In Hamilton, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park is just a nine-minute drive from Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery. Stretching over more than 300 acres, this enchanted destination combines the everlasting beauty of nature with inspiring works of art, including ancient sculptures of Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Syrian, and Egyptian provenance.
Bull’s Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum in Middletown, another local destination, attracts nature lovers with birdwatching and hiking in a charming woodland where squirrels run freely from tree to tree, to the delight of children of all ages.
Dudley Memorial Park in Liberty Township is a handicapped-accessible woodland with numerous hiking trails, a playground, and a lawn perfect for entertaining activities such as kite flying.
Butler County has many other attractions worth seeing. On a drive on the Butler County Donut Trail, you can consider stops at the attractions above or discover your own. Drive early, and keep in mind that some of the donut shops may close their doors once they run out of stock.
A former military journalist, Mihaela Lica-Butler is a senior partner at Argophilia Travel News. Besides her work as a PR pro and travel journalist, she spends her time writing children’s fairy tales and cookbooks.