Walking in the Steps of Pre-Historic Giants – Dinosaur Valley State Park

During the summer, I spent some time in Dallas checking out a few new restaurants and revisiting some of the many wonderful museums and attractions I’ve enjoyed in the past. Although I love this city, I have to admit that one day, I really felt the need to escape the concrete jungle for a more natural setting, one with fresh air, beautiful vistas, and some nice hiking trails. And, I found just what I was looking for in Glen Rose, about a 1 ½ hour drive from Dallas. I also found some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world, because my GPS was set to Dinosaur Valley State Park, a must-see destination for anyone who’s traveling in the area. 

As you enter the park, you’re welcomed by two big celebrities, a life-sized Brontosaurus and a T-Rex who were stars at the 1964 NY World’s Fair. Then, it’s off to find some awesome dinosaur footprints! Two of the best areas to see tracks are the Main Site, located across from the parking lot, and the Blue Hole, a deep sink-hole located at a bend in the Paluxy River (named after the Paluxysaurus).  It’s not the first time I’ve seen real dino footprints — after all, Texas was a pre-historic hot spot — but the experience never loses its thrill. And here at Dinosaur Valley, I was again quite taken with the experience of seeing these massive prints that were left over 100 million years ago.dinosaur track

I spent the rest of the day on the trails, checking out some of the park’s more recent denizens. I saw an incredible variety of birds, including a pair of red-tailed hawks soaring in the clear blue Texas sky, and what I’m pretty sure was a vulture of some kind. My hike was a bit of a workout, with some steep changes in elevation and some slippery slopes, but yours doesn’t have to be — your adventure can be as challenging or as easy as you want. But for me, the views were well worth the effort!

Paluxy RiverOther fun activities at Dinosaur Valley State Park include swimming and fishing in the Paluxy River, mountain biking, birding, picnicking, camping, and visiting the park’s fascinating Interpretive Center and gift shop. You can also bring your horse and explore The South Primitive Area, a lovely 100-acre section of the park.

I had a wonderful time visiting Dinosaur Valley State Park and I’m sure you will, too. In keeping with the theme, if you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want to budget in some time to see Dinosaur World, a nearby theme park featuring 150 life-sized dinosaurs and fun activities like gem excavation and fossil digs.  I’ll cover my visit there in my next blog, where I review my encounters with those incredible giants from the past! Stay tuned!

For more to do in Glen Rose, visit TourTexas.com.

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