(Boone County, Ky.) – The history at Big Bone Lick State Park dates back a long, long time.
Fitting then that the Kentucky Department of Parks announced Wednesday the park has been designated and renamed Big Bone Lick State Historic Site.
One of the crown jewels of Boone County, the park is known is known as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology.
“Scientists regularly visit here and make use of the historic items found here,” Kentucky Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker said. “Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Thomas Jefferson had roles in the history of this area and items from this site have been studied and distributed around the world.”
Even before expeditions to the American frontier, the park was home to some big names. 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 remains of those animals have been the subject of numerous studies, books and research projects.
The park was also designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark in 2009. The park was also designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Register Archaeological District.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site’s indoor-outdoor museum has collections of bones from ancient creatures once attracted to the mineral springs of the area. On the grounds are life-size replicas of mastodons and bison, and a live bison herd.
The park also has picnic areas, sports fields and a 62-site campground with electricity, grills, water, restrooms, showers, a pool and small grocery. For more information about Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, call (859) 384-3522 or visit www.parks.ky.gov.