What do you get when you cross Willy Wonka with the Amazing Race? Answer: the delicious adventure known as the Wayne County Chocolate Trail.
As a treat (no pun intended) for my daughter Annie’s 8th grade graduation, I took her with me to check out this cocoa-riffic scavenger hunt of sorts. We started at the Old National Road Visitors Center on National Road in Richmond. You can’t miss it. Just look for the antique red tour bus.
At the Visitors Center, we received our free Chocolate Trail Passports. These were our tickets to courtesy chocolate goodies throughout the county.
Some of the stops along the trail were delicious repeats from my previous trip to Wayne County: Ghyslain Bistro (gourmet chocolate — I went for the chocolate mint medallion pictured to the right), J&J Winery (chocolate wine), Olympian Candies (known for their chocolate Greek creams) and Maria Mitrione’s Italian Market (chocolate ice cream).
Other places were new experiences for me: Bowman Bakery (chocolate chip cookie) and Abbott’s Candy (I’ve had the caramels, but not the chocolates before), both in Hagerstown.
Not everything on the Chocolate Trail will eventually make its way to your hips. Stops at Warm Glow Candle Outlet and SOS Craft Shop will yield an over-sized chocolate-scented votive candle and a chocolate brown pot scrubber.
Navigating all the stops on Wayne County’s Chocolate Trail makes for quite a full day. It’s not just a matter of running in for the goodies and running out. You’ll want to browse CoCo’s Boutique next to Ghyslain, make a stop at Veach’s Toy Store near Olympian Candies and check out all the items on hand at Maria Mitrione’s Italian Market and SOS Craft Shop.
Because I lived in Richmond as a little girl, I wanted to show some of my old stomping grounds — my old house, school, Glen Miller Park, the Richmond Rose Garden (pictured to the right and located along U.S. 40). As a result, we had to cut a few trail stops from our agenda.
If I were doing the Chocolate Trail again (and I’m sure I will), I’d make an overnight out of it and spread the trail excursion out over two days, perhaps having dinner at J&J Winery, Galo’s Italian Grill or the Olde Richmond Inn.
However you choose to experience the Chocolate Trail, you can be sure it will be a sweet experience.