Visit Canton is teaming up with local craft breweries to launch a Stark County beer trail this year.

The yet-to-be-named trail — it may be called the Hall of Fame Brew Hop — will kick off April 1.

“It’ll be great,” said Jake Turner, the award-winning brewmaster at Maize Valley Brewery in Marlboro Township who has helped spearhead the effort. “It’ll give people a little incentive to visit everybody’s breweries. It’s a fun thing to do.”

Just like many other existing trails, it will involve beer fans using a free paper passport and receiving a prize if they visit all the featured breweries and collect stamps by purchasing a beer.

Beer trails have grown in popularity in recent years, coinciding with the rise of the craft beer industry. Akron, Cincinnati and Columbus are among the Ohio cities with trails, and Cleveland and the Youngstown area also are adding one. The Ohio Craft Brewers Association offers a statewide trail via a mobile app.

Tourism leaders see the trails as a way to attract visitors, with the hope that they stop by restaurants and other attractions, and decide to return to the area.

Visit Canton, also known as the Stark County Convention & Visitors Bureau, is finalizing the details, including the name and logo. The trail will be highlighted in its Official Visit Canton Travel Guide that is released in late March.

The prize is expected to be a flight paddle in the inaugural year, with commemorative tasting glasses in following years, said Tonja Marshall, vice president of marketing and communication at the Canton tourism agency.

The group also is looking to offer a grand prize for a lucky winner that would involve an invite to the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.

The Stark County trail will feature at least the following breweries: Maize Valley, Canton in Canton, Royal Docks in Jackson Township, Paradigm Shift in Massillon, Sandy Springs in Minerva, Shale in Canton and Lockport in Bolivar, along with the new, yet-to-open Fat Head’s in Plain Township and Muskellunge in Canton.

Mucky Duck in Green also may be included to bring the total to 10.

“The more breweries, the more successful it will be,” Turner said.

The Stark County trail comes on the heels of the popularity of the Summit Brew Path, which soon will enter its second year.

The Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau handed out just shy of 20,000 passports last year, with about 2,600 people visiting all the stops and receiving every stamp from the 14 official stops.

There will be more stops this year — thanks to new breweries opening in the Akron area — but the tourism group opted to limit new stops in the passport to Summit County.

Canton and Royal Docks are featured on the Summit Brew Path so the breweries will be highlighted on both trails.

Marshall said there’s the possibility that the Akron and Canton groups could join forces to create a regional trail in the future.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his beer blog at www.Ohio.com/beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.