In the Pleistocene-era, the environment in Kentucky was a lot different than the modern era. Specifically, the large mammals that populated the era such as the giant sloth, the Stag Moose that stood over eight feet high, the wooly mammoth, and the giant mastodon. All of these enormous animals were drawn to what is now Big Bone Lick State Park.
They came for the springs and because of the salt marshes. Many of the critters became trapped in the spongey, boggy land and were fossilized. The bones eventually came to the surface and were first discovered by French explorers in the early 18th century. The area where the giant bones were eventually found became known as the Big Bone Lick State Park.
The origin of the "big bone" part of the name is obvious. The "lick" part comes from the salt and other minerals that are still found throughout the area. The area is known as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology. Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky doesn't have a dedicated off-leash area. When you go to this park, you have to leave your buddy on the leash.
There are plenty of water fountains, but not so many for dogs, and no poop bags. It is up to you to bring your own poop bags and clean up after your dog. So why should you take your puppy to this park? You should take your dog to Big Bone Lick because this park is very accessible to anyone. There are miles and miles of improved, but unpaved, hiking trails. Kentucky is famous for its rolling hills, and this park is a great example of that.
The trails cover gentle slopes and go through dense forests. There are also lots of historical exhibits directly on the trail, both interpretive signs and sculptures of the Pleistocene-era animals themselves, as well as the bones that were found on the park grounds. Beyond the park, there are picnic grounds where you can grill out, and campgrounds where you can bring your dog for an additional fee.
But the most remarkable part of the park that you can experience with your dog is the bison herd. Bison were driven to extinction long ago in Kentucky, so this herd was brought in and developed in part to bring back a native species, but also as a nod to the giant mammals that used to roam the area. There are a lot of observation areas near the bison, and the herd is largely docile.