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Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill

(180+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum Museum
Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum is a 63acre state park located in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, several miles south of the state capital of Hartford, that preserves one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. Its early Jurassic fossil tracks in sandstone date from about 200 million years ago.HistoryExtensive fossil discoveries have been made since the 1800s in the Connecticut Valley, with specimens uncovered in the area's brownstone quarries found in museums throughout the world. In 1966, hundreds of dinosaur tracks were exposed in Rocky Hill by a bulldozer operator who was excavating for a new state building. The site was preserved as Dinosaur State Park, and its 7acre dinosaur trackway became a Registered National Landmark in 1968.Dinosaur tracksDinosaur State Park is one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. The tracks are from the early Jurassic period and were made over 200 million years ago by a carnivorous dinosaur similar to Dilophosaurus. At present, 500 tracks are enclosed within a 55000sqft geodesic dome; the remaining 1,500 are buried for preservation. The park's in-site tracks are Eubrontes, named by Edward Hitchcock, pioneering student of fossilized tracks and one of America's first geologists. The tracks range from 10 to 16in in length and are spaced 3.5 to 4.5ft 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A hidden gem. Here in Connecticut we have major fossils of early dinosaur footprints. Plenty of trails to explore besides the museum itself. The guides and rangers do an excellent job of explaining th...  more »
  • The exhibits were awesome & the people were super nice. The timeline was very cool too. Well landscaped grounds. Would like to come back here & spend a full day.  more »
  • This a great place for small children and people who are interested in dinosaurs. If this isn't you then don't bother going. It's cool to see the fossils if you've never seen them before, but overall ...  more »
Google
  • A fun place to visit, especially for children. I mean, what's more cool than seeing an actual footprint from a real dinosaur? Of course, those are rare and need to be protected, but you can make a plaster copy to take with you. There's also a couple miles of hiking trails, with some gentle paths as well as some difficult terrain along a narrow lose-rock type trail.
  • Wonderful place to go with kids. We had fun family time in park. There were lots of activities for kids. We enjoyed the indoor as well as outdoor activities in the park. Trails were well managed, picnic area was good and educational activities for kids were commendable. Would like to go visit again.
  • The man at the register seemed confused and not the most well informed/friendly person when we went so it was hard to get information or inquire about season passes. The museum could also have used some cleaning since it seemed someone dropped food and there were a lot of ants in the exhibition center in different areas and the female bathroom toilets were gross. That being said, it was well worth the price. My only complaint is that the sounds in the dinosaur room seemed to be motion activated, which scared my son when we walked through. Just keep that in mind if you take small children, it could startle them if you arent prepared. We still had fun and will definitely be back!
  • We loved doing a casting of a real dinosaur foot print!! Great place!
  • Good for a couple of hours visit. It's an Educational place...