Hole-y moly, they like their donuts in Butler County, Ohio. Six years ago, the area launched a local donut trail, and this year, to mark National Donut Day today (June 4), the Butler County Visitors Bureau is unveiling “new and exciting additions” to its beloved local attraction, including a 13th destination on the trail, dedicated donut concierge, free T-shirts, and donut shoe giveaway.
Highlighting local artisan donut shops, the BCVB launched the Donut Trail in January, 2016, and it has now grown to a baker’s dozen locally owned, mom-and-pop donut shops.
Purported to be the first Donut Trail in the US, the route spans 130 km across the large county (located mainly west of the I75 between Dayton and Cincinnati), and takes approximately 4.5 hours to complete – depending, of course, on how many donuts one stops to eat. Those who complete the trail are designated “donut experts.”
Since its inception, over 28,000 people from all 50 states and 23 countries have completed the Trail, generating over US$3.5 million in economic impact, according to officials.
“Butler County is proud to be home to one of the highest numbers of donut shops per capita in the Midwest, with one donut shop for every 17,000 residents,” says BCVB president and CEO Mark Hecquet. “The Donut Trail is just one of the many unique and innovative experiences in Butler County that provide lasting memories for families and individuals alike.”
And as it continues to grow, and to kick off the summer travel season (given heightened meaning as COVID-19 restrictions ease in the US), the BCVB is encouraging visitors to do the Donut Trail with some new incentives – a little extra icing on top, as it were.
New for 2021
This year, BCVB has introduced a dedicated “donut concierge” service staffed by tourism experts. Already the recipient of more than 200 calls, the concierge helps with all Donut Trail-related questions and assists in planning a Donut Trail trip.
The newest bake shop on the trail is The Donut Dude, which opened in Liberty Township at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, bringing to 13 the total number of dedicated donut businesses on the trail.
Five lucky donut afficionados will be given a pair of “donut trail shoes” to celebrate Donut Day.
How it works
Trail participants can experience the Donut Trail by collecting stamps and filling in an official passport at each required location. Passports can be picked up in participating donut shops or downloaded from the Donut Trail website. Once complete, each passport can be redeemed for a complimentary Donut Trail T-shirt. The T-shirt design changes annually, and the 2021 T-shirt declares the passport recipient has become a “Certified Donut Expert.”
For more information on the Donut Trail, or to download the passport, click HERE.
In other donut-related news (Ed note: I’ve always wanted to say that!), the Underground Donut, has added a new city to its roster: Boston. Based in Chicago, the company, which has been running tours designed to “showcase the best donuts a city has to offer” for six years, also operates in Philadelphia, New York City, Portland, and Seattle.
The Boston walking tour features four top donut-eries in the city, sharing the history of each location, local sights, and history along the route, including the Financial District, Boston Harbor, Downtown Boston, the Boston Public Market and the historic North End, but most importantly, lots of samples of the best donuts at each location. Check out the website for details.
First published at Travel Industry Today