For some, mentioning “trail” conjures images of thrilling outdoor adventures, while others find the thought horrific. What if we add the word “donut” to the trail? Does this change your mind?
Ohio offers a trail that welcomes everyone. You can enjoy delicious pastries and hot coffee as you discover delightful mom-and-pop bakeries in southwest Ohio. No hiking is required.
Toss your preconceived notions aside, and let’s explore the Butler County Donut Trail.
What is the Butler County Donut Trail?
There are many wonderful things to do in Ohio, but the Butler County Donut Trail takes the cake. The path comprises 13 local bakeries sprinkled throughout the county that offer scrumptious donuts and sweet treats.
Ohio’s Hocking Hills State Park has seven hiking areas for those interested in hiking trails, offering something for all ability levels.
Where can you find the donut shops?
All the bakeries reside along an 80-mile trail, about 20 minutes from Cincinnati, 30 minutes from Dayton, and 90 minutes from Columbus. Visit the Butler County site to obtain your passport and a map of the Donut Trail.
What is the Butler County Donut Trail passport?
A passport is an official document to record your progress with eating pastries at each donut shop on the sweet trail. At each location, ask a staff member to stamp your passport. When you have all thirteen stamps, you will earn a Donut Trail t-shirt to announce your accomplishment to the world.
Do you need to complete the Donut Trail in one day?
You can complete the self-guided trail at your own pace. To stay comfortable and enjoy the experience, consider tackling this task over more than one visit.
If you aim to complete the journey in a single outing, we suggest the following tips before you start:
- Verify the hours of each shop
- Start early since some locations are known to sell out by 10:00 am
- Enjoy small portions, sharing with family or friends
Donut Trail Concierge
Have you heard of a trail that offers concierge services? You can call the Donut Trail concierge for assistance with planning your adventure. Services include help with:
- Planning your route
- Finding places to stay
- Finding other things to do
You can reach the Donut Trail concierge at 513-860-0917 Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Let’s explore the donut shops.
Central Pastry Shop
- Location: 1518 Central Avenue, Middletown, OH 45044
- Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6:30 am to 5:30 pm
The full-line scratch bakery, founded in 1949, still uses the original recipes that led to its reputation for unique flavors. In addition to donuts, Central Pastry Shop is known for its fabulous wedding and birthday cakes.
Try the cinnamon squares or their famous “Uglies.” Although not pretty, the strange-looking treats are delicious.
They bake more than sweets. Locals will tell you their bread tastes as good as it smells.
- Location: 9558 Civic Centre Boulevard, West Chester, OH 45069
- Hours: Sunday, 6:00 am to 5:00 pm; Tuesday through Saturday, 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
Holtman’s Donuts opened its first shop in Newtown, Ohio, in 1960. The West Chester store launched in 2017.
Holtman’s Donuts prides itself on making only donuts, which are made fresh and from scratch daily. Many are striking with bright, colorful decorations. You will find donuts topped with fruit, cereal, and bacon. The shop even makes marshmallows from scratch for its take on s’mores.
They sometimes sell out early and close up shop when the bakery case is empty.
Jupiter Coffee and Donuts
- Location: 5353 Dixie Highway, Suite 5, Fairfield, OH 45014
- Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 5:00 am to 1:00 pm; Saturday, 5:00 am to 2:00 pm; Sunday, 6:00 am to 1:00 pm
Although compact, the little shop bakes donuts, pastries, cookies, muffins, brownies, and more daily. Customers regularly rave about their in-house roasted coffees and creatively decorated treats. Try their mouth-watering maple donut made with syrup from their family farm.
For Halloween, Jupiter Coffee and Donuts cleverly top iced donuts with a creepy eyeball or a plastic set of vampire’s teeth.
- Location: 1335 Main Street, Hamilton, OH 45013
- Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 5:00 am to 12:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 am to noon
Kelly’s Bakery carries all kinds of donuts, fritters, danishes, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and cookies. You can chase your sweet treats with milk, juice, pop, coffee, or a cappuccino.
Decadent donut flavors include:
- Maple Bacon
- Fruity Pebbles
The shop offers frosted cookies year-round, with incredibly adorable versions from Halloween to Christmas. At Thanksgiving, you can find iced cookies shaped like an acorn or decorated with a turkey face.
- Location: 4 W. State Street, Trenton, OH 45067
- Hours: Open daily from 4:00 am to 1:00 pm
It is difficult to miss the bright pink storefront of Martin’s Donuts. Many locals claim these are the best donuts they have ever tasted. The confectionery regularly closes early due to customers devouring the products.
You will find classic donuts and specialty flavors such as cherry cheesecake, Oreo, and banana pudding. Many are pretty fond of the cronuts. No matter what you select, the fresh concoctions will deliver a grin from ear to ear.
- Location: 3533 Roosevelt Boulevard, Middletown, OH 45044
- Hours: Monday, 5:00 am to 11:00 am; Tuesday through Saturday, 5:00 am to 3:00 pm; Sunday, 5:00 am to 1:00 pm
Milton’s Donuts carries donuts, danishes, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, glazed croissants, and cookies. Elegantly decorated with icing, some donut varieties belong in an art museum. Their glazed donuts melt in your mouth and make you plan a return visit.
Cookies include oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and classic black and white. The bake shop offers a state favorite, buckeyes, to satisfy your chocolate and peanut butter cravings.
Mimi’s Lil’ Kitchen
- Location: 2267 Millville Avenue, Hamilton, OH 45013
- Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to noon; Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 am to noon
Mimi’s Lil’ Kitchen has a strong reputation for fresh donuts and friendly service. Their Reese’s donut is a must-have treat if you like peanut butter. Other fan favorites include the blueberry donut with lemon icing, the unicorn donut, and the min pineapple upside-down cake.
They carry fantastic locally sourced milk with unique flavors that pair nicely with their pastries. The shop recently started offering breakfast items, including sandwiches, burritos, and biscuits with gravy.
Oxford Doughnut Shoppe
- Location: 120 S. Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056
- Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 6:00 am to noon
Oxford Doughnut Shoppe is pre-stamped on your passport and listed as optional. Do yourself a favor and visit the college town bakery. Oxford is a charming town with red brick streets, while the Miami University campus has large green spaces with beautiful shade trees.
The bakehouse serves kettle-fried donuts and hot coffee with perfection. Try the Fruity Pebbles donut and the red velvet cake donut, two of the best on the Butler County Donut Trail.
After savoring your breakfast, explore Oxford and check out the Black Covered Bridge.
- Hamilton Location: 1051 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, OH 45013
- Hours: Monday through Friday, 4:00 am to noon; Saturday, 4:00 am to 12:30 pm
- Ross Location: 4421 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, OH 45013
- Hours: Monday through Saturday, 4:00 am to noon
Ross Bakery has delivered smiles for over 30 years and has two locations. You are not required to go to both sites to earn your t-shirt.
Ross Bakery sells donuts, danishes, coffee cakes, fritters, honey buns, turnovers, cookies, and cream horns. The glazed donuts and donut holes melt in your mouth. They will make cakes upon request if you give two days’ advance notice.
Their best-selling apple fitters contain real apple slices for a lovely combination of sweet and tart flavors. Try the Klunker, a fried cake donut buried in a delectable glaze glob.
Although tiny, the shop offers a wide variety of donuts. If you want the best selection, arrive early. Ross Bakery is known to sell out before closing time. After enjoying your sugary goodness, check out the nearby Green Heron MetroPark.
Stan the Donut Man
- Location: 7967 Cincinnati Dayton Road, West Chester, OH 45069
- Hours: Open daily, 6:00 am to noon
Stan the Donut Man has boasted family recipes satisfying bellies for over 50 years. Popular items include cake donuts decorated with either sprinkles or M&Ms and pineapple fritters. Find out for yourself why locals are crazy about Stan the Donut Man.
The Donut Dude
- Location: 7132 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Liberty Township, OH 45069
- Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 5:30 am to noon; Sunday, 7:00 am to noon
The Donut Dude offers yummy donuts in various fun flavors. They utilize toppings like fruit, sprinkles, pretzels, and cereal.
Classics like the glazed donut or a frosted chocolate donut with sprinkles are popular. Other top sellers include apple fritters, custard-filled donuts, cinnamon knots, and the chocolate and caramel drizzle donut.
Try a jalapeno cheddar fritter if you have an iron stomach. Wash it down with a cup of coffee made by a local roaster.
The Donut Hole by Milton’s Donuts
- Location: 8268 Princeton Glendale Road, West Chester, OH 45069
- Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 6:00 am to 11:00 am; Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 am to noon
The Donut Hole by Milton’s Donuts offers fantastic donut holes and specialty donuts like the fried cream cheese donut. They carry various cream-filled, custard-filled, and jelly-filled yeast donuts.
You will find a wide selection of cake donuts, including powdered donuts, cinnamon sugar cake donuts, coconut cake donuts, and cherry iced cake donuts. Grab a cup of house-blend coffee or a bottle of milk or juice for a complete breakfast.
The Donut Spot
- Location: 5130 Pleasant Avenue, Fairfield, OH 45014
- Hours: Open daily, 3:00 am to noon
Customers often line up before the bakery opens. The Donut Spot is busy for a reason. After you taste the donuts, you will be the first in line for your next visit. Beyond the classics, popular items include the Boston creme donut and the cheesecake donut.
The Donut Spot has adorable frosted cookies that change with the seasons. At Halloween, you can try a spooky apple or a pumpkin roll.
Other Area Attractions
There are many other things to do along the Butler County Donut Trail. The family can enjoy a drive-in movie at the Holiday Auto Theatre in Hamilton. Check out Hamilton’s outdoor sculpture park at Pyramid Hill for those who love art.
Take the family to Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield for a unique grocery shopping experience. The massive store feels like an amusement park and offers special foods and drinks you will not find anywhere else.
Visit the Fairfield Fun Center to keep those smiles on your kids’ faces. You can play a round of mini golf and test your hand-eye coordination in the batting cages.
About twenty minutes south of Butler County, you will find The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
Wrap-Up: Butler County Donut Trail
Leave your hiking boots at home for this adventure. The Butler County Donut Trail is a surefire hit for the whole family. Hiking never tasted so good!
About the author
We are Scott and Julie at Miles with McConkey. After nearly 30 years, we took a leap of faith out of the corporate world to enjoy a life of travel and adventure. We hope to inspire you to find ways to travel more and enjoy life now.