Big Bone Lick
State Historic Site

Boone County, Kentucky

The birthplace of American paleontology

The lick has several salt springs that attracted mastodons, mammoths, and other Ice Age mammals to the site. The discovery of the animals’ large skeletal remains at the location led to the naming of Big Bone Lick in the eighteenth century. A diorama recreates the ancient scene, and there are hiking trails and a museum. Paved, wheelchair-accessible trails lead to viewing points. 


Protected by Kentucky State Parks

In a fund-raising effort during the 1950s, citizens of Boone and Kenton Counties, including thousands of school children, collected money to purchase the land and protect it. Ownership transferred to Kentucky State Parks in 1960, and state funds have been used to expand it several times.

For information on joining, volunteering and contributing, contact Friends of Big Bone.

How to Find Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

The site is located three miles off the intersection of State Route 338 and US Route 42. 

For location details, click here



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