5 reasons to visit — or re-visit — the Butler County Donut Trail

Launched by the county’s visitors bureau in 2016 in collaboration with nine local doughnut shops, the Butler County Donut Trail highlights small, family-run doughnut shops.

Here are five reasons to visit — or re-visit — the Donut Trail:

1. It helps Butler County's economy. According to a study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, the Donut Trail had an economic impact of nearly $1 million on the county in its first year for people who have completed all 10 stops. That means a bottom-line boost for everything from restaurants and gas stations to shopping and lodging, according to Tracy Kocher, spokeswoman for the visitors bureau.

2. Small businesses get a boost. Thousands of customers flocking to a shop to devour its doughnuts means a sales increase. Owners have reported sales are up anywhere from 5 percent to 30 percent as a result of the trail, Kocher said.

3. You get a cool T-shirt. The Butler County Donut Trail is aiming to attract people to take the tour again (or for the first time) by launching a new T-shirt each year.

4. National acclaim for Butler County. More than 4,700 people from 39 states completed the trail in its first year. "It's great that we have something that's so unique and countywide that brings more attention to us as a region," Kocher said. The Donut Trail also made it onto national TV and statewide print publications.

5. You don't have to finish it in 1 day. Of those who completed the trail, 43.4 percent did it in one day and 19.3 percent completed it in just two days, according to the UC study. But there is no time limit to complete the trail, Kocher said. "Some take weeks or even months to make the full circuit," she said. "Many families or groups choose to explore one new location each week."

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