A long while back numerous people tagged me in a Food Network Facebook post about a Donut Trail. They knew my love of donuts and thought this was right up my alley. Well, I did some research and found where the trail was located and realized that it was something that I could make a reality. You see, the Donut Trail is located in Ohio and my in-laws live in the next state over in Indiana. PLUS the Donut Trail is located in Butler County, which just so happens to be pretty much on our route TO Indiana from where we currently live in North Carolina. Since we would be going to Indiana this summer for a visit I decided to plan our route there to include the Donut Trail.
To plan this adventure I visited: https://www.gettothebc.com/donut-trail and printed off the Donut Trail map. There is no set trail order to follow when completing this challenge. You will plan based on where you live/where you’re coming from. For our traveling purposes I decided that it would be best for us to stay somewhere near shop’s 1 & 6. So I booked a hotel in Middletown, Ohio, just a couple miles away from these stops. I planned the rest of our route to basically make a big loop around the county. Then, using google maps, I plotted all the stops.
We set off from North Carolina to our hotel. It was a loooong day of driving but we accomplished the task. When we got to the hotel I looked up the hours for each shop so that we could plan when we would start our day the next morning. Originally I had planned for us to do all the shops in one day but then I noticed that one of the places was open late so I decided we would get that stop out of the way that evening and enjoy some dessert.
Holtman’s Donuts was our first stop. We picked up our official passport from this location. [note: You can pick up your passport from one of the locations or from the Bulter County Visitors Bureau. Also, super important prize note about the passports that I didn’t realize until we had completed the entire trail – you must have a passport for each person participating. So if you want a shirt and your kids want a shirt be sure to get enough passports to cover you all or you will not be able to get them a shirt – that was my mom fail for this trip but luckily my kids didn’t care too much about getting the shirt.]
At Holtman’s Donuts we spent $5.30 and got 3 donuts to share: Vegan Oreo, Maple Bacon Blueberry Cake, and Chocolate Fudge Cake. This was the only location on the trail that had a vegan donut option.
I’m sharing how much we spent at each shop but know prices may vary, especially if you get speciality donuts like we did at some stops. We spent the most money at this first stop since it doubled as our dessert for the evening and we got more than one donut. On average for the rest of the trip we really didn’t spend more than $2 with the exception of a speciality donut at our last location. Set an eating goal for yourself with this adventure. I did the trail with my five kiddos and we only got one donut at all of the other locations and we were FULL even having split the goods; so full that at the last stop we completely saved that donut and split it as dessert when we got to my in-laws that evening.
After our first stop we went back to our hotel for the evening and got to bed because it would be a very early morning to set out on the donut trail since some locations open very early and many of them close early. Be sure to double check shop times before you set out on your adventure. Also, I do not recommend tackling this trail on a Sunday or a Monday as many of the shops are closed on those days. We arrived to the trail on a Wednesday and completed it on a Thursday.
Thursday morning’s alarm came early and we set out of our hotel around 6am. The kids were not very happy campers about having to get up and out so early but we had a trail to conquer and a final destination 3ish hours away in Indiana to also get to.
Our first stop of the day and second on the trial was Milton’s Donuts we spent $1.65 and got an Apple Fritter.
Stop 3 – at Central Pastry Shop we spent $1.75 and got a Fried Danish. This stop has a beautiful Donut Trail mural inside the shop. Down the street there were a couple other murals on buildings outside. I absolutely love finding street art/wall art like this.
Stop 4 – at Martin’s Donuts we spent $1.80 and got a Cream Filled. This twisty donut was super yummy even though it was a little tough to share.
Stop 5 – at Stan the Donut Man we spent 95¢ and got a Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cake donut.
Stop 6 – at Jupiter Coffee & Donuts we spent $1.25 and got a Red Storm Roll. This was a yummy raspberry filled donut. This shop was also super cute with their coffee bean art. If I still drank coffee [that’s a story for another day] I would’ve totally gotten a coffee at this spot as well; it smelled so good. So if you drink coffee and do the donut trail, grab a coffee here and let me know how it was.
*At this point we had originally planned to stop at The Donut Shop however, this place is now permanently closed. You’ll notice the curiousness of it all when trying to plan your route because hours are still listed when you google it but when you try to go to a website it brings up an error. We confirmed that this stop was indeed closed by talking with other shops along the trail. So we wrote CLOSED in that slot on our passport.
Stop 7 – at The Donut Spot we spent 90¢ and got a Chocolate Sprinkles donut.
Stop 8 – at Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery we spent $1 and got a Blueberry Lemon donut (honestly one of my favorite donuts on the trail – this one just screamed summer to me).
Stop 9 – at Kelly’s Bakery we spent $2 and got what they call a Tiger Tail – we used to call these Twisty donuts when we lived in Texas.
Stop 10 – at Ross Bakery [we went to location a, there are 2 location options for this shop] we spent $2.75 [the most we spent on a single donut but it was a speciality donut] and got a Sugar Square and ended up saving it for dessert that night.
We didn’t go up to shop 8 on the map, Oxford Doughnut Shoppe since it is an optional stop as of right now and we still had a solid 3+ hour drive left to get to our final destination in Indiana. We do plan on completing this route again next year and I think we will add it in or maybe on our drive back home to North Carolina we will make a stop, haven’t decided just yet. It makes me wonder though how many people don’t go out to the optional shop. So if you’ve done the Butler County Donut Trail please comment and let me know if you did make the optional stop or not.
With our passport officially filled we headed over to the Butler County Visitors Bureau to collect our prize. Well, my prize since again, I didn’t realize until we got to the visitors bureau that we needed one passport per person to get a shirt. Again, luckily, my kids didn’t care, all the treats that morning were enough for them.
It took us around 3 hours total to complete the donut trail that day, even if we hadn’t gone to the one shop the night before it probably wouldn’t have added a significant amount of time onto our travels since it was very close to one of the other stops. That’s the thing about this trail, there were a couple of times where we were barely done with our donut and had already arrived at the next stop!
Once you’ve completed the Donut Trail the fun doesn’t end there, now you’ve unlocked lots of fun discounts to various places throughout Butler County. Check them out here.
We do plan on completing the trail again next summer on our journey up to Indiana since the location is a decent break up of the entire trip. As of right now I would like to also add in the Donut Trail GeoTour, which is 14 geocaches along the way and you get a GeoTour coin at the end.
Have you completed the Butler County Donut Trail or the Donut Trail GeoTour? If so, share your adventure, did you have a favorite donut or shop?