Dinosaur State Park

 

Dinosaur State Park

What: State Park / Dinosaur Tracks
Where: 400 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067 (Map)
Admission: See latest fees here.
Web: http://www.dinosaurstatepark.org

Dinosaur State Park is one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. Beneath its geodesic dome, you will find an exceptional display of early Jurassic fossil tracks that were made 200 million years ago.

Surrounding the Exhibit Center are more than two miles of nature trails and the Dinosaur State Park Arboretum, containing more than 250 species and cultivars of conifers, as well as katsuras, ginkgoes, magnolias and other living representatives of plant families which appeared in the Age of Dinosaurs.

The Connecticut Valley has an extensive history of fossil discoveries. Some of these fossils date to the Jurassic Period. Many specimens uncovered in brownstone quarries during the 1800s were included into the collections of museums throughout the world. History was made 1966 when hundreds of dinosaur tracks were exposed in Rocky Hill.  The dinosaur tracks in Rocky Hill were discovered by a bulldozer operator who was excavating the property for a new state building. This incredible site became Dinosaur State Park. The site officially became a Registered National Landmark in 1968.

Dinosaur State Park

At present 500 tracks are enclosed within a 55,000-square-foot geodesic dome; the remaining 1,500 are buried for preservation. The park’s in site tracks are Eubrontes, named by Prof. Edward Hitchcock, pioneering student of fossilized tracks and one of America’s first geologists. They range from 10 to 16 inches in length and are spaced 3.5 to 4.5 feet apart. The exhibit center also includes rock slabs with other Connecticut Valley fossil tracks, including large four-toed Otozoum tracks with clearly visible skin impressions.

In addition to the dinosaur tracks, the exhibit center contains a life-size Triassic diorama, a life-size Jurassic diorama, a reconstruction of a geologic formation, interactive displays, an auditorium, a children’s discovery room and gift shop.

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