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!
NOTE: Some of the businesses are still closed, but others are still open for to-go purchases and may still be able to verify your visit for the trail. Please check with the businesses you plan to visit and respect their decision on how they are handling things right now. If they are open, they could definitely use your business, and some of these adventure trails are perfect for this time.
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 17 stops of this caffeine-filled trail. After four stops, you earn a free Columbus coffee experience t-shirt and after all 17 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, Fox in the Snow, and more. They are worth buzz! You can even get a a digital CBUS Coffee Experience Pass to track your stops!
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 46 breweries to visit, its going to take awhile to complete, but you’ll earn prizes after 4 stops, 23 stops, and all 46 stops. Until breweries open, you can order to-go or carryout! See the details here. Volume 5 deadline is July 31, 2020!
Are cocktails more your beverage of choice? Head to the Herb Capital of Ohio – Gahanna – and visit the 7 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 Summer cocktails and get your passport stamps by September 30, 2020. Remember – you can purchase cocktails to-go if you aren’t comfortable dining in or on the patio.
More cocktails please! Dublin has their own specialty boozy beverage route with the Celtic Cocktail Trail. Dublin continues to grow their 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!
Take a short drive east of Columbus to explore the Licking County Beverage Trail. The trail includes breweries, wineries, coffee, and soda shops. Pick up or print your guidebook, and when you visit a location, collect your stamp. Get 10 stamps and win a prize. Complete an entire category and you will have a chance at winning a special prize. When you have collected enough stamps, bring your book to the Explore Licking County office to claim your prize!
As a bonus, you’ll pass through the charming towns of Granville, Buckeye Lake, Alexandria Johnstown, revitalized downtown of Newark, and picturesque country outside of Heath.
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. Note, this list doesn’t seem to be updated recently, as Hass on Sawmill is now Los Guachos Taqueria – and you NEED to try the al pastor taco.
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. Note: I’d also add on a stop at Banana Leaf, with lots of vegan and well-marked gluten-free items as well.
Butler County is home to 12 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! See the rest here, and 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!
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 10 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 Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. to avoid store closures. Redemption policy now offers zero-contact pickup for Dublin-area residents. Once you’ve completed the trail, please call 614-792-7666 to claim your prize. If you are a visitor, please email your completed passport to email@example.com or mail it to 9 S. High St., Dublin, Ohio 43017.
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! Pick up a passport at any of the locations, 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, Homage, Middle West Spirits, Wholly Craft, Alchemy Juice, and so. many. more. amazing locations.
Know of any other adventure trails in Columbus? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout the 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!).
December 2019. 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.
November 25-December 19. 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.
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