Big Bone Lick Things To Do
Museum and Visitor Center
The Big Bone Lick museum features exhibits that tell of the park’s momentous historic and prehistoric past. Displays include Ordovician fossils, Ice Age mammal bones, Native American artifacts, the salt making era, and ongoing current research. The museum is open daily 8:30 am - 4:00 pm from April 1 - October 31, and from and 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday - Friday, November 1 - March 31.
The Discovery Trail begins at the Megafauna diorama, just behind the visitor’s center. The trail meanders along Big Bone Creek past interpretive panels that impart the prehistoric drama that unfolded around the salt/sulfur springs during the last Ice Age. The trail is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Orienteering is a woods navigation sport wherein participants use map and compass or GPS to navigate an established course. Big Bone Lick’s orienteering courses were the site of the 2012 U.S. Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Championships as well as the 2015 Kentucky Outdoor Adventure Games. The park currently offers two permanent, woodland orienteering courses. A beginners’ course covering 2.7 km and an intermediate course covering 4.5 km, both featuring 10 checkpoints. Course maps are available here.
Mid to late spring is accented by the arrival of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird and a host of colorful warbler species. In summer, an assortment of hawks pinwheel high overhead during the day and the haunting calls of owls echo through the forest at night. Fall ushers in opportunities to see migrating communal flocks as they flit and dart about, searching for tidbits and morsels to fuel their journey. After the leaves have fallen, the starkness of the barren landscape affords unhindered views of over 50 species of birds that over-winter in the park. Altogether, Big Bone Creek Trail is likely the premiere locale within the park for year-round birding.
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. The campground is closed Nov 13 - Mar 14. There is a campground grocery store on-site for your convenience, which is open Nov. 13 - March 14. Check-in time begins 2 p.m. and check-out time is 1 p.m.
ALERT: The lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site is CLOSED for safety reasons because of a leak in the dam. The lake is being drained so an assessment of the dam can take place.
The park’s gift shop is a unique browsing experience. Visitors will find a charming assortment of t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, books, fossils, collectible rocks and minerals, park-themed toys, handcrafts, candies, and more. It’s the perfect place to find the perfect item to take home as a souvenir of your visit to Big Bone Lick. The gift shop is open daily 9:30 am - 4:00 pm from April 1 - October 31, and is closed seasonally from November 1 - March 31.
Enjoy the serenity of wooded seclusion along the trails at one of Kentucky’s most unique parks. There are 4.5 miles of hiking trails with each varying in terrain and difficulty. Observe an abundance of wildlife as the trails meander from forested ridges to the babbling waters of Big Bone Creek. Open year round.
Big Bone Creek Trail
.9 mile, easy.
Bison Trace Trail
.5 mile, easy.
Cedar Run Trail
.9 mile, easy.
2 miles, moderate.
Gobblers Trace Trail
.5 mile, moderate.
An 18-hole miniature golf course, with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, is near the entrance to the campground. Open April 1- October 31 to all visitors.
Nearly 40 acres of picnic grounds with tables, grills and a playground areas 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.
Two playgrounds ideal for family outings.
A swimming pool is available at the campground for campground guests only. Seasonal.
Tennis courts are available for the enjoyment of park visitors. Seasonal.