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Big Bone Lick State Park
A sign for Big Bone Lick State Park
Type Kentucky state park
Location Boone County, Kentucky
Size 512 acres
Opened 1960[1]
Operated by Kentucky Department of Parks
Status Open year-round

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 megafauna fossils found there. 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.[2] The Park was also listed in 1972 on the National Register of Historic Places, and was further listed as a National Natural Landmark in February 2009.



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 gift shop.

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.


Big Bone Lick State Park Big Bone Lick State Park Big Bone Lick State Park

See also


  1. ^ Kleber, John E., ed (1992). "Big Bone Lick". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813117720.  
  2. ^ Wecker, David (2002-10-19). "Big Bone Lick: Books, awards and festival give pride of Boone County its due". The Kentucky Post (E. W. Scripps Company). Archived from the original on 2006-05-11. Retrieved 2007-02-05.  

External links

Coordinates: 38°53′13″N 84°44′53″W / 38.8869°N 84.7480°W / 38.8869; -84.7480

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