Whether you’re a foodie, love a good drink, or you just want to explore, these tasty and fun trails will take you on an adventure in Ohio. Take a day or weekend to complete a trail, or take all year!
Some adventure trails offer a prize at the end, but if not, you’ll enjoy the treats and the discoveries made along the way.
From beer and wine, to food and dessert, to fairies and bridges – there are so many options to explore at your own pace!
Going on an adventure trail is the perfect plan for boring winter days, spring or summer break fun, or other staycations/weekend trips. Complete one at a time, or do several at the same time – many trails overlap in Central Ohio. You’ll won’t even need to leave Ohio to go on an adventure!
Make sure you check the hours for each location, as many of these businesses are family-owned and may have restricted hours.
Beverage Adventure Trails in Ohio
Beer, wine, cocktails, and coffee are some of life’s tastiest vices, and there are plenty of amazing local options to explore with these beverage adventure trails. Make sure you have a designated driver for the boozy options, and pace yourself in completing these – alcohol and caffeine call for moderation.
This will be an easy task for any coffee lover! There are 20+ stops of this caffeine-filled trail. After four stops, you earn a free Columbus coffee experience t-shirt and if you visit all stops, you earn a free travel mug.
These shops aren’t your average chain coffee shop – they are among the top shops in Columbus, including Boston Stoker, Crimson Cup, Stauf’s, and more. They are worth the buzz! You can even get a a digital CBUS Coffee Experience Pass to track your stops!
Hear the stories of the distillers, peek at their process and have a few sips along the way.
Visit participating distilleries, “check in” using your digital pass. After just four stops, you earn a Simple Times Mixer and after checking in at all stops on the trail, you earn a Columbus Distillery Trail T-shirt! Document your journey using #CbusDistilleries.
The pass is mobile-exclusive and you’ll receive it via email and text. Just save it to your phone home screen and check in as you go!
The Central Ohio craft beer has exploded over the past few years, and the best way to find your favorite and support these great local breweries is to head down the Columbus Ale Trail!
With 50+ breweries to visit, its going to take awhile to complete, but you’ll earn prizes after making stops! You have until April 30, 2022 to complete Volume 6! See more details here.
Are cocktails more your beverage of choice? Head to the Herb Capital of Ohio – Gahanna – and visit the 6 stops along the Herbal Cocktail Trail. The unique herb-infused cocktails at the restaurants and bars on the list celebrate different flavor combinations, and pair well with the host restaurants’ menu offerings.
Enjoy the winter-themed cocktails and get your passport stamps by March 30, 2022. Once you’ve received 6 stamps, bring your passport to the Visit Gahanna from Monday–Friday 9 AM–5 PM, and redeem your passport for an Herbal Cocktail Trail Flask.
More cocktails please! Dublin has their own specialty boozy beverage route with the Celtic Cocktail Trail. Dublin continues to grow culinary cred, and 18 establishments are serving up Irish-themed beverages. Pick one of the lucky libations they’ve created for the trail, or your own preference to get your trail guide stamped.
Complete 5 trail stops and redeem a commemorative koozie. Complete 11 stops and score an exclusive Celtic Celtic Cocktail t-shirt.
“Zero-Proof” cocktails are available as designated stops for those who are sober-curious. Redeem stamps from all “ZP” stops and turn in your passport for a t-shirt!
Head south of Columbus to check out the breweries along Route 33 from Columbus through Lancaster. Pick up a trail guide at one of the participating breweries, and make a purchase at a listed brewery to get a stamp and earn free swag when you complete the Brew Trail. Collect stamps from all 8 Brew Trail breweries to receive an Anchor Hocking Route 33 Brew Trail pint glass.
The trail features well-established breweries such as RockMill Brewery, Combustion, BrewDog DogTap, and more. There are tons of great places to eat in Downtown Lancaster, so it’s a great place to grab lunch or dinner.
Food Adventure Trails in Ohio
Food. It’s both a necessity and a desire. You’ll find all the tempting options on these food adventure trails, with tacos, ice cream (so much ice cream), donuts, buckeyes, and Indian food.
No matter what kind of taco you prefer, you’ll probably find it on the Columbus Taco Trail. This tasty trail will take you to new and old taco stops, as well as the best taco trucks in the city.
With 11 options on this trail, you’ll probably need a couple of days to hit all of the stops, or explore a new one each Tuesday for Taco Tuesday.
Some locations are closed, so check links before you head out. If you need a more updated list of places that are open, check out our Cinco de Mayo in Columbus article.
Featuring the best Indian food in Columbus, the Columbus Tikka Trail will keep things spicy in your life. This list was compiled based on the locations chicken tikka masala, but there are so many delicious options – including vegetarian choices, and the writer lists lots of other must-try options for each location.
If you aren’t very familiar with Indian food – start here! You’ll quickly become a fan.
Butler County is home to 13 family-owned businesses with a combined 300+ years of donut-making experience. At just 90 minutes away between Dayton and Cincinnati, the trail is a great way to explore the region and enjoy some tasty pastry.
Earn an official Donut Trail t-shirt while available with your completed passport! Head out early to hit them all in one day, take a weekend trip, or visit throughout the year, but you “do-nut” want to miss this sweet trail! Find out more about the Butler County Donut Trail here!
Need a bigger challenge? The Butler County Donut Trail GeoTour is a separate, but exciting adventure! Find 15 Geocaches, complete a GeoTour Passport and earn a collectible and trackable GeoTour Gecoin.
If you want the sweet Donut Trail T-shirt AND the Donut Trail trackable Geocoin you must complete both adventures and each individual Passport program. Learn more about the Donut Trail GeoTour and get your GeoTour Passport today.
Enjoy Ohio’s state candy – the buckeye! It’s peanut butter chocolate perfection. You’re going to have to drive a bit further to catch all 31+ stops on this trail that stretches throughout the entire state, but isn’t it worth it?! Who makes the best buckeye? Who cares?! Enjoy them all!
There are enough stops near Columbus to do a mini tour, including Sweet Tooth Cottage in Powell, Eagle Family Candy, Tremont Goodie Shop, Anthony Thomas, Chocolate Cafe, Pure Imagination Chocolatier, Schmidt’s Fudge Haus, Wittich’s Candy Shop (Circleville), Buckeye Creations (Canal Winchester), Candy Cottage (Lancaster), and Goumas Candyland (Heath).
Ohio knows ice cream – which makes sense because it’s full of dairy farms, and nothing makes better ice cream than local dairy. Ice cream and non-dairy frozen treats appeal to all ages, from the little tot, to great-great grandparents. No matter where you are in Ohio, you’ll find a little ice cream shop to enjoy – or you can visit one of the 20 on this list.
You can probably guess that Jeni’s, Graeters, and Johnson’s are on the list, but there are so many other great options, including my hometown favorite, Handel’s, Whit’s Toft’s, Youngs Jersey Dairy, and Velvet Ice Cream Factory – and all of the other great stops!
May we suggest a bonus stop at Dulce Vida Ice Cream Factory (4201 W Broad St, Columbus), which features made-from-scratch ice cream, paletas (ice pops), and other sweet treats made with fresh ingredients.
Fun Adventure Trails in Ohio
These adventure trails are all about fun and perfect for the whole family!
Brought to you by Experience Columbus and Columbus Music Commission, the Columbus Live Music Trail features more than 40 venues devoted to live music. The trail represents a city’s contemporary music scene and highlights venues where you can listen to a variety of genres, including pop, punk, rock, rap, jazz, bluegrass and more.
Some of the stops along the trail include Dick’s Den, a famous jazz venue; Newport Music Hall, the longest continually running rock club in the country; Dirty Dungarees, a laundromat and bar; Natalie’s, where the food is as good as the music; and KEMBA Live!, a large outdoor/indoor venue featuring national acts.
In addition to the diverse range of music venues, Columbus is also home to some of the best independent record stores in the nation. Before catching a live show, check out shops like Used Kids Records, Magnolia Thunderpussy, Spoonful Records, Elizabeth’s Records, Lost Weekend Records and more.
The trail is easy to use with a simple download to your mobile device and seamless check-in at each venue.
Created along with MORPC], the digital pass inspires friends and families to hike, bike, jog or even paddle their way to enter a monthly giveaway for $100 gift card to Columbus businesses and restaurants. With winners chosen at random by Experience Columbus, users check in along the trails via their virtual passport to be entered to win that month’s gift card.
The GPS-enabled and easy-to-use Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass features 22 different outdoor experiences around the Columbus region. Add the mobile pass to your home screen on your phone, and check in as you go!
Explore all the public art, galleries, performance art spaces and more in the Art + Soul of Columbus. The pass is Mobile exclusive, and instantly delivered via text and email. Just add it to your home screen and explore your way through the list.
Learn about many natural and historical features of Delaware County! During this scavenger hunt you will be following the clues and visiting each of the 18 townships. Read each township clue before you go so you’ll be prepared for what you’re looking for. Once you collect the information, you’ll find the secret phrase form at the bottom of this page.
Note: the prize submission portion of this challenge is over, but it’s still a fun way to get out of the house and explore! Find details and clues here.
This is a great activity for school-age or older kids, and can even make for a fun birthday adventure with a sweet treat at the end.
Fairfield County has the most original covered bridges in the state with 17 original covered bridges! The majority of covered bridges were built from 1871-1906, with original construction beginning in 1849. This trail will take you through the countryside and make you feel like your back in simpler days.
This adventure trail is just for the kids! Bring the kids to historic Dublin to find the tiny magical fairy doors in downtown businesses. Find the name of each resident fairy, fill in your passport and return your completed passport to the Dublin Visitor & Information Center (9 S. High St.) for a FREE Fairy Doors of Dublin t-shirt.
Finding the fairy doors is just half the fun – you’ll get to explore businesses such as Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, Our Cupcakery, Kilwins, and Dublin Toy Emporium.
If you plan to complete your passport in one day, be aware of store hours. They recommend Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. to avoid store closures.
Whether your green thumb sprouts through collecting various potted plants, tending to an expansive home garden, nurturing a passion for propagation or crafting your very own terrariums, the Green Thumb Trail has something for everyone!
This spring and summer, the town of Lancaster, Ohio, just 30 miles from Columbus, will be a plant lover’s paradise with an event calendar featuring many activities (tagged as “Green Thumb events”), including farmers markets, creative workshops, gardening instruction, and educational classes. This trail helps make it easy to connect with nature!
Columbus residents looking to make a long weekend out of exploring the trail will receive a discounted rate at the Holiday Inn Express + Suites in downtown Lancaster – just mention the Green Thumb Trail when booking.
Explore the trail on Visit Fairfield County’s website or on the Visit Fairfield County app, available on iOS and Android devices. Those with the app can enhance their experience by completing the Green Thumb Challenge. Use the app to check-in at five locations on the trail, then drop by the visitor center in downtown Lancaster upon completion to receive your reward.
NOTE: Some of these shops are temporarily closed, but may offer online purchases.
It’s no secret that Columbus is FULL of amazing local businesses, restaurants, shopping, attractions, and makers, and the Made in CBUS Trail is a great way to experience some of the best! Get the mobile exclusive passport, and purchase something at four or more of the locations to get your passport stamped. Redeem your passport at an Experience Columbus Visitor Center for a free Made in CBUS tote bag!
It will not be difficult to find things you want to purchase from locations such as Candle Lab, Brothers Drake Meadery, Celebrate Local, Cub Shrub, Igloo Letterpress, Middle West Spirits, and more amazing locations.
Throughout the late Spring and Summer season, head to the Fairy Trail at Infirmary Park in Granville. Look up, look down, look all around for fairy dwellings! You’ll find homes, a playground, school, shops, library, inns, “city” buildings, and more.
The fairy trail is located along a dirt and grass path through the woods past the lake. You’ll spend about 45 minutes to an hour at the park for the Fairy Trail – even longer if you go through again (we usually miss one on the first trip through!).
Know of any other adventure trails in Columbus? Comment below or email us at email@example.com
Dates: Fall tba
Go on a pumpkin adventure through Grove City with the 3rd Annual Grove City Pumpkin Trek. Enjoy the sights, scents, and flavors and earn a stamp for each experience. Print out or pick up a “Trek Guide” at any of the eighteen participating businesses, including the visitor center and shop, Grove City Guide + Gear. Collect 9 stamps on the trek guide and return to the visitor center to redeem it for a special, limited edition tee. Use #GCPumpkinTrek and #pumpkintrek as you set out on your Grove City pumpkin adventure.
Dates: Fall tba
The Licking Parks District and Explore Licking County want you to get active in the parks this fall! All you need to do is Hike, Bike, and/or Paddle for 30 minutes in Licking County Parks and Waterways to earn prizes. Do one activity for a Licking Park District tree cookie. Do two activities for a commemorative patch. Do all three for a patch and an event specific t-shirt. Check the challenge page to see where to hike, bike, and paddle in Licking County!
Once you complete the activities, fill out the survey to submit. Participation prizes will be available for pick up at Infirmary Mound Park, 4309 Lancaster Rd, Granville after November 15th, appointments required, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-587-2535
Combine your effort and do the Park Bingo Scavenger Hunt challenge and enter that prize raffle as well! Get outside this fall and explore!
Visit nine park and trail locations around Licking County from Sept. 1 – October 31. Explore the trails, visit new locations, view the wildlife, and have fun outside. Once you complete your Bingo Sheet, enter the raffle for the prize worth more than $150 donated from local businesses.
Visit each park and find the sign or landmark featured on the Park Bingo Card. Take a selfie with the sign/landmark (your face doesn’t have to be in it). Once you complete all 9, share on the Licking Park District’s facebook or Instagram page using #LPDbingo AND email them to email@example.com. Be sure to tag the parks you visited. Please submit all nine “pieces” of your game grid at once. Include your name to be entered in the raffle. For a bonus, find the letter hidden nearby each location. Unscramble the letters to form a word or saying. Find the rules, maps, and bingo card in the discussion tab of the Bingo Scavenger Park Facebook event.
December tba. Pick up your 12 elves card at one of the downtown locations, and then search through the shops of Historic Dublin to find the 12 Elves. When your kiddo finds the elf at each stop, they will get a little prize. Collect them all and return your completed card before December 30th to be entered to win one of three grand prize drawings.
December tba. Find Elf on the Shelf dolls at local business and receive a signature for finding them. Once completed, turn in sheets to the Community Center for a chance to win a new bicycle.