Streetscapes goes off the beaten path on the way to Big Bone Lick 

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This story originally appeared in the July 28 edition of the Weekly LINK Reader. To get these stories first, subscribe here.

Summer summons a range of outdoor activities. But when the pools are crowded and the pickleball courts are full, sometimes a trip off the beaten path is the best solution. This Streetscapes heads to Big Bone Lick, with some tasty stops along the way. 

The Black Goose

Iced coffee from The Black Goose. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky contributor

The first stop for any road trip, big or small, should always be coffee. Luckily, The Black Goose is one of the first places past the growing hubs on U.S. 42. It serves coffee from Cincinnati-based Deeper Roots, gelato from Covington-based Golden Gelato and a selection of baked goods. 

The quaint interior is decorated head to toe with vintage signs and antique goods. For a tiny coffee shop, its offerings are immense. For traditional coffee lovers, it offers brewed, as well as cappuccinos and lattes. When the summer is in peak heat, the best pick-me-up is an iced cold coffee. The Black Goose serves it on tap, which creates a smoother finish than a traditional iced coffee. 

It even has nitro cold brew, coffee infused with nitrogen to create a sweeter and creamier coffee than the traditional cold coffee. No need to head to Starbucks, The Black Goose has your coffee needs covered. 

It also has a small selection of seating inside, as well as some tables out front, decorated with flowers in watering cans. The Black Goose doubles as a gift shop and antique vintage store. It’s impossible to leave here empty-handed. In fact, most will leave with a coffee in one hand and a unique gift, or two, in the other.  

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Beaverlick Trading Post

Nearly every visitor here comes for one thing: monster milkshakes. Although Beaverlick Trading Post has so much more to offer than just massive milkshakes, it’s a calling card, and a sweet one at that. 

Beaverlick Trading Post is one of the last stops before heading to Big Bone. It’s a convenient shop that doubles as a fast-casual eatery. The husband-and-wife duo who own the trading post serve up breakfast, burgers and pizza, along with their famous shakes. 

The monster milkshakes come in six flavors and are topped with everything under the kitchen sink. The  “death by chocolate” is a chocolate shake, topped with chocolate whipped cream, two cookie sticks, a ho-ho cake, a chocolate bar and an entire drumstick ice cream cone. Yes, an ice cream to top the ice cream – there’s a reason they’re called monster milkshakes. 

Scandalous S’more, Death by Chocolate and Outrageous Oreo monster milkshakes from Beaverlick Trading Post. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky contributor

These can usually take some time to make, especially on hot summer days when all of NKY is racing here to order. Waiting guests can shop at the convenient store, rock on the front porch in rocking chairs or hang out on the side patio. After a day in the sun, there is nothing more refreshing than these shakes. For anyone in need of a dairy-free ice cream, the regular soft-serve is lactose-free, so everyone can have a treat post-hike. 

Boonedock’s Pub and Grub 

Other than the Black Goose, Boonedock’s Pub and Grub is one of the first businesses seen by guests who travel out to the boondocks. The workers at Boonedock’s know how to satisfy hungry travelers with country cooking. Cod, country-fried steak, pot roast and chicken will fill up even the hungriest patrons after a long day of hiking. 

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Burgers and wings are never a bad option at a pub-and-grub joint – with an ice cold beer, there’s truly nothing better. The Tex-Mex eggrolls are a savory starter to guests’ meals, while the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites are a sweet end to any meal.   

For those who just can’t say goodbye to the sunshine, there is an outdoor patio, where a Boonedock’s Long Island cocktail will refresh even the weariest travelers. 

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site 

Many NKY natives have made a trip or two here, but for those who have yet to adventure to Big Bone, there are plenty of reasons to make the trek. Ample hiking trails, campgrounds, mini-golf, playgrounds and pools are some of the added adventures Big Bone has to offer. 

What makes Big Bone a standout among other camping and hiking destinations is one thing: bison. Big Bone educates travelers on prehistoric times and shows off the largest land mammals. This is a destination both kids and adults will enjoy. 

Have a street, city or business you want to see covered next? Email Maria Hehman at [email protected] and it could be featured on the next installment of LINK Streetscapes.

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