Dinosaur State Park – Rocky Hill, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura

Dinosaur State Park

The ancient past meets the retro-future at these dinosaur tracks that are protected by a geodesic dome. 


The small Connecticut town of Rocky Hill did not really have its own claim to fame until a large amount of dinosaur tracks were discovered in the area by a group of construction workers, and today those very tracks are still perfectly preserved under a futuristic dome. 

It was in 1966 that a bulldozer operator accidentally uncovered the field of fossilized dinosaur tracks. Consisting of thousands of smallish, three-toed footprints, the site represents one of the largest collection of dino prints in the United States. The tracks are remarkably preserved with the very pattern of the dinosaur’s (believed to have been a type of Dilophosuarus) skin in the tracks. In order to preserve the precious specimens, a couple of measures were taken. A large geodesic dome was built over a grouping of around 500 of the prints so that visitors could come see them first hand. The dome is also built to act as a museum complete with replica dinos. The remaining 1,500 or so tracks were then reburied so that they might be preserved for future generations.

In addition to the dome museum, the rest of the acres of parkland surrounding it act as an arboretum that has set out to plant as much flora that has root in the Mesozoic era as they can. In essence, Dinosaur State Park is not unlike a real life Jurassic Park but instead of cloning dinosaurs, they are simply trying to fill the holes they left with their memories.

Know Before You Go

There's free parking. The museum is handicap accessible, but the walking trails are not.

From Around the Web