Field Trip: Dinosaur State Park

Last weekend we took a day trip to visit Dinosaur State Park, which is not too far south of Hartford, CT–about a 90-minute drive for us.

This is just a *fun* picture!

The main attraction is the dinosaur trackway. The Connecticut River Valley had great conditions for preserving dinosaur tracks, but not at all good conditions for preserving fossils. We’ve seen tracks before, at the Amherst Natural History Museum, at the northern end of the Valley, which boasts the largest collection of dinosaur tracks, many collected locally. But these tracks are right where the dinosaurs left them. It’ll give you goosebumps, if you think about it.

Dino tracks

The trackway is complemented by additional displays, which were all interesting to the adults in the family, too. In fact, we went on my husband’s birthday, and he chose the destination. He’s a big dinosaur fan. Isn’t it amazing that during our lifetimes, the dinosaur-bird link progressed from a crazy, derided theory to fact? The exhibits mentioned this as well, because one of the first people to examine these tracks when they were discovered was Yale University’s Dr. Ostrom, who revived the dinosaur-to-bird evolution theory.

This is a fossil of a fish (obviously!).

Fish fossil

The explanatory text said that the arching of the neck and back indicated the fish entered and died in toxic waters.

The park includes nature trails, too, so after we explored the inside, we took a walk outside. We kept seeing this red dragonfly, and finally he posed quite nicely for me.

Dragonfly

He’s not quite as large as his prehistoric counterparts, but still, quite pretty.

This trip included a lot of time in the car, but it was a nice day for a picnic lunch, and an interesting destination, with lots of information about local (-ish, to us) geology and the always-big pull of dinosaurs. Worth a day trip!

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One Response to Field Trip: Dinosaur State Park

  1. Pingback: Hiking in Connecticut: A Wish List | On Planting Seeds…

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