The Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio has just unveiled its new Butterfly Trail.
Designed to educate visitors about the importance of pollinators, while offering one-of-a-kind experiences, the Hocking Hills Butterfly Trail is a project of Logan in Bloom with support from Hocking Hills Tourism Association. Outlined on both a colorful map and a passport, the trail includes 14 locations, each featuring a gorgeous pair of human-sized butterfly wings replicating a different butterfly found in the region. These “selfie stations” give visitors a colorful way to take home memories from each stop while learning all about the featured butterfly, including its habitat and food sources. Created from actual photographs of each species, the massive wings accurately depict the butterfly species they represent. The wing stations are open to the public sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise noted on the Butterfly Trail map.
In addition to photo ops and education, two stops on the trail offer visitors unforgettable hands-on opportunities for a deeper dive into local pollinators. The monarch waystation and butterfly garden at Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center offers travelers the chance to witness the entire lifecycle of monarchs, from young caterpillars feeding (May-August) to their becoming chrysalides and finally, emerging as monarchs (late August-October). Guests can then take part in monarch migration research, tagging and releasing the butterflies as they begin their migration to Mexico. At Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center, guided hikes traverse 21 acres of native pollinator-friendly prairie, forest and gardens. There are workshops, tools and even seeds available to help visitors create butterfly habitat at home. After-dark moth lighting events take visitors on a one-of-a-kind safari every second-fourth Saturday, June-August.
The printable map, passport and bonus butterfly coloring book pages further add the experience. Travelers are urged to visit explorehockinghills.com/hocking-hills-butterfly-trail/ before heading to the Hocking Hills to download their map and passport. Both are also available at the Regional Welcome Center, 13178 State Route 664 S. in Logan, along with a special butterfly trail sticker. Visitors are also urged to join in the educational mission of the trail by sharing their Butterfly Trail photos on social media with the hashtag: #hockinghillsbutterflytrail.