3380 Beaver Rd.
Union, KY 41091
(859) 384-3522 www.parks.ky.gov
Big Bone Lick State Park is named for an area of sulphur springs and salt licks that once lured large animals such as mastodons. Prehistoric fossils can also be found there. Due to the explorations of this area by Lewis and Clark at the direction of president Jefferson, this area is known as the birthplace of paleontology. There are 62 campsites with electric and water hook-ups. Current prices as of July 2014 are Sunday-Thursday $23, weekends $25. AAA and senior citizens get a 10% discount. There was not a lot of supplies at the campstore in the way of food, but there were some souvenirs. Firewood and ice are available. The firewood is stored in a covered shed. $5.50 per bundle. There is also a museum/visitors center that has a good selection of souvenirs located in the State park just a short drive from the campground. The staff and camp hosts are very friendly and helpful. If you are in need of firewood after the store closes, you can purchase it from the camp hosts.
The sites were mostly grassy with paved pads and paved interior roads. The grass was well-maintained, although we could have done without the 7am Wednesday morning wake up call of mowers and weed whackers. Many of the flowers beds had flowers but also a good bit of weeds. The water hookups were a little oddly situated. A multiple shared hookup was located in the middle of two sites, which meant we had to run our hose a good distance. The sites were fairly spacious and had a fire pit and picnic table.
Rating: (1 to 5 lanterns, with 5 being the highest)
There are a variety of hiking trails consisting of 3.5 miles surrounding the lake. The Big Bone Lick Creek Trail is located near the museum and has several learning stations with information about the area. The Bison Trace trail is a 1/2 mile well-blazed trail that leads to a live Bison viewing area. The Coralberry trail goes along the perimeter of the park boundary. We saw many herds of cattle resting in the shade along the park fencing. There is a 7.5 acre lake with large mouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. No motorized boats are allowed. You can purchase a fishing license at the campstore ( $7 for out-of-state license – per day).
A fun day excursion is to visit the historic town of Rabbithash, a 20 minute drive. Rabbithash is a small community in Boone County – population 315. There is a general store, historic buildings, a nice waterfront view, and art gallery. Be sure to say hello to the mayor – a DOG!
The campground is pet-friendly and there are ample places to walk the dogs including the trails. All pets must be leashed. There is no fenced dog park area.
There is a nice but small pool. It seemed pretty clean and several families were enjoying cooling off on the hot day. There is a playground and tennis, volleyball courts, and basketball. The basketball court is located in an odd place – down at the bottom of a ravine next to the road, butting up to the woods. There are softball fields, horseshoe pits and an 18 hole mini-golf course which seemed well-maintained. There are 40 acres of picnic and shelter areas.
The bathrooms were OK. They were in need of updating and in our opinion were not that clean. The same bug was on the floor of the bathroom the three days we were there. There is only one bath and shower house that is located in the center of the campground and the floor is frequently wet/slippery due to the fact it is adjacent to the pool and gets frequent use by swimmers. There are no hooks in the bathroom stall to hang a purse, which is very inconvenient considering the floors were wet.