inosaur State Park and Arboretum, a Registered Natural Landmark, is a little more than an hour’s drive from Fairfield County and well worth the trip to see what early settlers thought was evidence of an extinct race of giant chickens. Connecticut dinosaurs are not of the T. Rex variety, but the tracks uncovered in the 1960’s in Rocky Hill are unusual for the size of the runway in the sedimentary rock. Scientists estimate the 10” to 16” marks were made by the carnivorous Dilopho-saurus about 185 million years ago. Some of the tracks are now protected in the exhibit center, others were reburied to preserve them. Park staff members provide interpretive programs. The park is open daily 9-4:30; nature trails through the Arboretum are open 9-4. There’s a casting area where visitors may make plaster casts of a dinosaur print; it’s open 9 to 3:30, May 1-Oct. 31. Bring 10 lbs. of plaster of paris, 1/4 cup cooking oil, a five-gallon bucket and rags for clean-up. The Interpretive Center is open Tuesday-Sunday 9-4:30; admission is $6 for adults and $2 for youth 6-12 and includes hands-on activities.
Dinosaur State Park is in Rocky Hill on West Street at Exit 23, I-91. For more information, call 860-529-8423. Pets are allowed in the picnic and open areas only; not on the hiking trails. Friends of the park maintain a website: www.dinosaurstatepark.org.