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Union, Kentucky: Big Bone Lick State Park

Country crossroad leads to a park. Both have awkward names that have amused generations of high school kids with maps. And the park has a big "Big Bone Lick" sign to pose with.

3380 Beaver Rd, Union, KY
I-75 exit 171, then eight miles north and west on Hwy 1292/Beaver Rd. Entrance on the left (south) side.
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Visitor Tips and News About Big Bone Lick State Park

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Big Bone Lick State Park

Big Bone State Park is between the towns of Beaver Lick and Rabbit Hash. The park claims to be the birthplace of American palaeontology, since it was here in 1807 that President Thomas Jefferson sent Gen. George Rogers Clark to collect giant bones that had been reported in the area. The park has the fossils of primitive horses, giant mammoths, mastodons, and the giant sloth, who came to lick at the natural salt, and ended up as bones.

[Chris Harmon, 09/22/2013]

For all his brilliance, Thomas Jefferson never imagined the comedy potential of a place named Big Bone Lick.

Entrails and vultures.

Big Bone Lick State Park

The ranger told us that just about everyone takes a picture of the sign. But the real image you want is of the replica vultures feasting on replica mammoth guts. That's not something you see every day.

[Freyja, Rick, and John, 09/12/2010]

Historical Marker.

Big Bone Lick State Park

A long hike from the highway, and frankly not very exciting apart from its hilarious name.

[Mary Helen, 04/02/2010]
Big Bone Lick State Park

Aside from the amazing name (which the attendant at the gift shop assured me had seen more flashes than Mardi Gras itself) this park was a necessary stop for my vacation. Yes, there was much laughing at the expense of the name, but when it was explained at how it came around, it made perfect sense. And to see such massive majestic animals at such a close distance... Wow.

[Jaydob2234, 09/18/2009]
Big Bone Lick State Park

After reading about Big Bone Lick on this site I figured it would be worth my time to take the extra hour trip from were I was visiting in Lexington, KY, to say that I had in fact been to Big Bone Lick and Beaverlick, KY. I wasn't disappointed.

The park itself is very scenic and the drive, once you get off the interstate, is delightful. Beaverlick is a very small community. The road through it was so small you could probably reach out and touch one house. Big Bone Lick State Park has a small gift shop and museum at which I bought a few t-shirts that boldly stated the name of the park in bright orange letters (a required purchase according to one of my co-workers). I'm glad I made the trip.

[Carmen R., 08/06/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Rabbit Hash General StoreRabbit Hash General Store, Rabbit Hash, KY - 6 mi.
Mary Draper Ingles, Indian SurvivorMary Draper Ingles, Indian Survivor, Burlington, KY - 10 mi.
Florence Y'all Water TowerFlorence Y'all Water Tower, Florence, KY - 9 mi.
In the region:
World Peace Bell, Newport, KY - 20 mi.

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