Things to do in Butler County, both inside and outside, during coronavirus precautions

Butler County officials are touting the variety of activities the county offers in attempts to offer options for families needing options during coronavirus precautions and opportunities for visitors in a strained travel environment.

Officials point to attractions like the Butler County Donut Trail, EnterTRAINment Junction, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, Jungle Jim’s International Market and the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting. There are also outdoor activities suited to precautions, they said.

“Outdoor recreation is so key right now, because people need to get out, but we also need to be safe,” said Tracy Kocher, vice president of marketing and communications for Butler County Visitors Bureau.

A few ways people can explore the outdoors include bike trails, and many cyclists are looking forward to the expansion of the Great Miami River Trail. The Middletown portion of the Great Miami River Trail is expected to be completed by September 2021.

The Great Miami River Trail offers urban skylines to scenic river vistas. The trail’s 75 miles hug the Great Miami River, nearly the entire route. The route winds its way near museums, historic downtowns, and acres of natural parkland, and is ideal for runners, cyclists, and skaters. Many residents also enjoy kayaking along the Great Miami River. The Great Miami River flows through multiple communities, including Fairfield, Fairfield Twp., Hamilton, and Middletown.

“The bike trails are important because they allow people to be active outside in a safe way. Biking is extremely popular right now. People want to get outdoors to break up their day, especially in the pandemic situation that we have occurring right now, and biking is a safe and socially distant way to do that,” Kocher said.

Other family-friendly options for biking include the trails in Fairfield’s Harbin Park, which is also the host for the annual Mountain Bike Challenge. Additional amenities at Harbin Park include walking trails, nature and fitness trails, disc golf, picnic shelters and much more.

“There are lots of mountain bike trails at Harbin Park. So, if biking is somebody’s passion, I highly recommend that area,” Kocher said.

Marsh Lake Park in Fairfield features a fishing lake, along with a mile-long trail that is situated along the lake. Marsh Park Fishing Lake is a natural spring fed lake with over 4,000 ft. of accessible shoreline. The lake is stocked throughout the season with carp, catfish, crappie, bass, bluegill, northern pike, perch, trout, and walleye. The bait house at Marsh Lake carries fresh live bait and basic tackle needs as well as snacks and beverages for guests.

Another standout spot is Marcum Park, which is located in downtown Hamilton. Marcum Park is close to a variety of shops and local restaurants. The six-acre park features sculptures, the RiversEdge Amphitheater, fountains to splash around in and other water features.

“Tourism is a critical part of Butler County’s economy,” said Mark Hecquet, president and CEO of the Butler County Visitors Bureau. “For over a decade through 2019, we have seen consistent growth and important economic impact from travel to our region. The travel industry directly translates into vital jobs for locals, important tax revenues that support resident services, and essential customers for Butler County businesses.”

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