Big Bone Lick State Park

Quick Facts

Big Bone Lick State Park


(859) 384-3522

Map Directions

Things To Do


Big Bone Lick is a unique state park by any standard. Here the prehistoric past is enshrined in a 525-acre park in Boone County, Kentucky that contains the remains of some of Americas early animal inhabitants. The park, which joins an elite group of geological sites around the country, is significant for its combination of salt springs and late Pleistocene bone beds. Ancient creatures like the mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth and bison once roamed through mineral springs and swamps, now grassy plains covered with trees and shrubs.

The site is recognized as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology for its significant role in the development of scientific thought regarding extinction and the relationship of geology and paleontology the world over.

Map of Big Bone Lick (KY)

Latitude, Longitude: 38.883372, -84.748229



  • Bird Watching

    Summer issues in the arrival of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Whip-Poor-Will, Falcons, and many of the Warbler species. Fall is the best time to see dozens of species of migrating flocks stop over and gather at the park. Winter is a great time, when the park is quiet and undergrowth at a minimum, to best view any of the 57 bird species still found wintering at the park. If you want to see the most variety of birds the Big Bone Creek Trail is the best place to be.

  • Camping

    Spacious campground features 62 campsites with utility hookups, grills, a swimming pool and playground. Showers, rest rooms, and laundry facilities are available at a central service building and are open year-round. There is a grocery on-site for your convenience, which is open April 1-October 31. The campground is open year-round but no water at sites from November 1 to March 31. However, spicket is available to fill up holding tank. Check-in time begins at 2 p.m. and check-out time is 1 p.m.

  • Fishing

    A 7.5-acre lake contains largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish for bank fishing. A Kentucky fishing license is required. Year-round.

  • Golfing

    An 18-hole miniature golf course, with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, is near the entrance to the campground. The golf course is open seasonally.

  • Hiking

    There are 3.5 miles of hiking trails around the lake and Outdoor Museum area. Year-round.

  • Historic Sites

    The park's indoor-outdoor museum has collections of bones and a video presentation on the history of Big Bone Lick. On the grounds are life-size replicas of mastodons and bison. Other items of interest include the Salt Festival each October, where salt-making demonstrations are shown.

    The discovery trail behind the visitor's center gives visitors a glimpse of the drama that unfolded at the springs during Pleistocene epoch, commonly called the most recent Ice Age. The trail is open daily from dawn to dusk.

  • Picnicking

    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.

  • RVing

    Spacious campground features 62 campsites with utility hookups.

  • Tennis

    Tennis courts are available for the enjoyment of park visitors year-round.

  • Water Sports

    A swimming pool is available at the campground for campground guests only.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Great bison herds once roamed this area and provided food, clothing and shelter for the American Indians and pioneers. Hunted to near extinction, the last of the wild bison was seen in Kentucky around 1800. The park's herd is an effort to reestablish these animals at Big Bone Lick.



The park is located 22 miles southwest of Covington on KY 338, off US 42 - 127 and I-71 / I-75.

Phone Numbers


(859) 384-3522