We’re stomping right along with our state parks series in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Next up: Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose.
Missed the first edition? Learn more about Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, the first state park to open in North Texas in 25 years.
The Land Before Time
Located at 1629 Park Road 59, the park is about an hour southwest of downtown. You probably guessed it from the name, but the park’s 20 miles of trails feature dinosaur tracks that were left in the mud of an ancient ocean around 113 million years ago.
Fast forward to 1909, when a young boy named George Adams discovered the tracks in the limestone bed of the Paluxy River after a mighty flood.
In 1937, Roland T. Bird, a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History, came to investigate, finding sauropod tracks (a rounder hoof-shaped impression) and theropod tracks (a three-toed impression). The imprints have been identified as belonging to Sauroposeidon Proteles, a 70-ft-long creature, and Acrocanthosaurus, a 30-ft-long relative of a T-Rex.
Dinosaur tracks being removed from the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, 1952. pic.twitter.com/Z5DVvgSuIH— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) April 6, 2023
Today, the tracks are only visible through the water, however due to last summer’s drought, the prints were exposed for the first time in decades.
You can download maps to your phone to follow the tracks while you hike or walk among 100 life-size prehistoric reptiles at the neighboring Dinosaur World.
Plan a visit
The park offers outdoor adventures including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and picnicking. You can also bring your horse and explore the 100-acre South Primitive Area or book a campsite and stay for a while.
Pro tip: Pack lots of water and sunscreen for that summer sun. Ready to hit the road? Check out our guide to Glen Rose for an outdoor adventure.