Outdoor Activities at Dinosaur State Park

Nature Trails

The trails are open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, weather conditions permitting. The park maintains more than 2 miles of trails through a natural area which contains a rich diversity of living things in a variety of habitats, including a red maple swamp and shrub swamp; forest areas of sugar maple, birch, hickory, oak and beech; open meadows and a traprock ridge. Here delicate spring wildflowers bloom among the broken pieces of basaltic rock—rock that once flowed as hot lava covering the habitat of Connecticut’s dinosaurs. Please note, no pets or bikes are allowed on the nature trails.

Track Casting - a seasonal outdoor activity

Casting may be made at our Casting Area, Tuesday through Sunday, from May 1 to October 31 during the posted hours only: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The process does not work well in wet weather.

Instructions

Prepare to make ONE cast so that all visitors have the chance to participate.

The Park provides:

• Eubrontes tracks

• Metal rings

• Water

Visitors must provide:

• 1/4 cup cooking oil

• Cloth rags and paper towels • 5-gallon plastic bucket

• 10 pounds of Plaster-of-Paris (no substitutions) Instructions

The entire process takes about 30 to 45 minutes

1. Clear off the Eubrontes Track and metal ring with broom and rags. DO NOT USE WATER.

2. Oil the track and ring with your hands.

3. Center ring on the track and wrap rags around the outside of the ring.

4. Measure three (3) quarts of water (3/4 of one gallon jug). Pour into the bucket.

5. Add the ten pounds of Plaster-of-Paris to the water.

6. Stir the plaster mixture quickly with your hands until it is smooth and has the consistency of cake batter.

7. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared ring.

8. When the cast is hard, carefully remove the rags and the ring. Then remove the cast from the rock.

Mine for Gems and Fossils - a seasonal activity

During the spring, mining is available on weekends. During the summer, this activity is available from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

To share in the experience, participants will need to purchase a bag of "mining rough" that is available in the Friends' Bookshop. Mineral and gem or fossil bags are available. Prices range from $6 to $25 per bag. Staff and volunteers will be available to help you identify the fossils and minerals you have mined.

Picnic Area in the Park

The park has a picnic area for visitors. Tables and grills are available for picnics during Park hours. The pavilion may be reserved for private parties and gatherings. To make a reservation, visit ReserveAmerica.com, the agency that is handling the use of the picnic shelter for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.