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Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, Rocky Hill

(4.1/5 based on 180+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great visit for adults and children. Great place to learn about dinosaurs. Admission is very reasonable. They have the inside museum but in the months when weather is warmer, they also have ...  more »
  • We had a 7 year old up from Florida and brought her there. We had an entertaining afternoon while learning about very early Connecticut. 
  • Not worth the time. Took my 3 and 5 year old over the summer. Figured we'd have a nice picnic, walk the trails and check out some dinosaur bones. There was nothing to do. There was a movie showing abo...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place, super friendly staff. All except one. Some guy walking around with a leaf blower. We had 2 interactions with him. The first, he said "I don't think it's a good idea she climb the trees", referring to my 4 year old tree climbing love. So I asked her to get down and let it roll off my shoulders. A few minutes later, he came by and she happened to be picking a flower. He said "don't pick any flowers". We were leaving, so I just continued to leave. I'm not one who had an issue with authority, but this guy was just overbearing. The other staff was all super kind, inviting, helpful. One man even found my daughters fairy wand and walked all over to find us. I would go back! And hope not to see the grounds guy
  • A nice way to spend an hour or two with the kids. They have the largest collection of dinosaur foot prints in the us which is quite a sight. Also several nice walks around the area.
  • 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.
  • Nice for kids under 10. Good prices.
  • 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.