Dinosaur State Park

Quick Facts

Dinosaur State Park

Connecticut

(860) 529-8423

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Sitting on one of the largest dinosaur trackways in North America, Dinosaur State Park offers a window into the Jurassic period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The authentic trackway, which is actually three times the size of what is on display, was discovered by accident in 1966 when the state was excavating for a highway department research laboratory. The state quickly determined the significance of the discovery and designated the area a state park. The trackway is the highlight of the park, featuring 500 prints thought to have been left by a three-toed, meat-eating dinosaur. Two dioramas show what the area looked like millions of years ago. In addition, the park features numerous interactive exhibits, a classroom space, and outside grounds where visitors can explore a butterfly garden, walk a nature trail featuring typical plants from the age of the dinosaurs, and cast a real dinosaur track (visitors must bring their own materials). Pets on a leash are permitted on the park grounds, but are not allowed on nature trails or in the Exhibit Center.

Map of Dinosaur (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.653996, -72.657304

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Activities

  • Hiking

    The park offers an extensive arboretum with several nature trails.

  • Historic Sites

    Dinosaur State Park officially opened in 1968, two years after 2,000 dinosaur tracts were accidentally uncovered during excavation for a new state building. Five hundred of the tracks are now enclosed within the Exhibit Center's geodesic dome.The remaining 1,500 are buried for preservation. A model of Dilophosaurus, the dinosaur considered to be the likely source of the tracks named Eubrontes, is the highlight of the Jurassic mural and exhibit.

    The park's 200-million-year-old sandstone trackway is a Registered Natural Landmark. Check it out for a walk into prehistoric times.

  • Picnicking

    The park offers picnic tables, a picnic pavilion, and bathrooms for a pleasant and roaring way to spend the day and have a picnic.

Seasonality/Weather

The grounds are open daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Trails close at 4 p.m. The park is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Day. The Exhibit Center is open throughout the year Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Park Partners

The Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc (FDPA)

The Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc (FDPA) was established in 1976 to act as an advocate for protection and preservation of the trackway at Dinosaur State Park. Incorporated in 1987, the FDPA operates as a prive, non-profit organization governed by a board of directors. It is devoted to promoting a greater knowledge of the region's paleontology and natural history.

The FDPA promotes and funds educational activities, programs, and exhibits at the park and encourages volunteers to assist the park staff. Volunteers fulfill a significant role in the FDPA's efforts to support the park.

Directions

Driving

Exit 23 off I-91 in Rocky Hill. Follow parks signs east on West Street for approximately 1 mile. The park is directly off West Street. Watch for signs and a large geodesic dome.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(860) 529-8423

Links