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Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, Rocky Hill

Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web
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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  • Our family stumbled across Dinosaur State Park and couldn't believe our eyes. Our kids are Dinosaur enthusiasts and we felt privileged to see authentic dinosaur footprints right in Connecticut. For an...  read more »
  • I loved this place and the experience. The mueseum is small, the trails are beautiful, and bringing home a dinosaur footprint, priceless. The trails, parking, and casting area are all free of charge. ...  read more »
  • The place isn't very big but its pretty amazing to be able to see authentic dinosaur prints! We visited during dino days so there were extra activities going on which were great had it not been pourin...  read more »
  • Once we visited paying full price. Next time on their free day (some anniversary). Well maintained. Good programs for kids. Never fails to amaze kids and adults alike.
  • I took my three year old daughter and we enjoyed walking the trails. The museum was a cool place to check out. Not a whole lot to see but still very interesting. They have short films for viewing but are a little out of date. Staff was friendly and they DO accept debit cards even though their website says cash only.
  • Beautifully presented and knowledgeable staff. So refreshing to visit a place that has not been "over commercialised".
  • Very fun to walk thru the trails. Nice and shady. Inside is okay.
  • Great spot to discover with your kids for a few hours. You can even make a plaster cast of fake dinosaur steps.
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