Big Bone Lick State Park
Union, KY 41091-9627
WELCOME to Big Bone Lick State Park
Big Bone Lick State Park is located at Big
Bone in Boone County, Kentucky. It is located on Beaver Road and
between the communities of Beaverlick and Rabbit Hash. The name of
the park comes from the Pleistocene mega fauna fossils found
The mammoths and other creatures are believed
to have been drawn to this location by a salt lick. It bills itself
as "the birthplace of American paleontology" a term which
dates from William Clark's expedition in 1807.
In 2002, the National Park Service designated
Big Bone Lick State Park as an official Lewis and Clark Heritage
Trail Site. The Park was also listed in 1972 on the National
Register of Historic Places.
A new visitor's center was officially opened
on November 18, 2004, but this was only the first stage of a much
larger project now in quest of funding. The museum center features
fossils, American art and a 1,000 pound mastodon skull as well as a
The park also features several nature trails,
including the Outdoor Museum with Discovery Trail that includes a
boardwalk around a marsh bog diorama with recreations of a woolly
mammoth, a mastodon, a giant sloth, bison, and scavengers feeding on
carcasses and skeletal remains.
The Discovery Trail winds through several
habitats, including grassland, wetland and savanna, and is
accessible to the physically-challenged.
A small bison herd is also maintained on-site.
Another attraction to many visitors is the
amusing name, which some see as an innuendo.
Picnicking & Playground
Nearly 40 acres of picnic grounds with tables,
grills and a playground are ideal for family outings. The two picnic
shelters have tables, grills, water and electric, and may be
reserved for rental up to one year in advance. Year-round.