where wonder happens
Dinosaur Footprints
pioneer-valley Holyoke, MA
8 acres
Photo Credit: W. Jones

Imagine small herds of dinosaurs on the shore of a shallow tropical lake as you enjoy a real, up-close look at their fossilized prints, left in sandstone to spur our wonder.

What makes Dinosaur Footprints a special place?
We think it's the treasure trove of more than 130 tracks revealed in slabs of sandstone. Researchers believe these prints were left by small groups of two-legged, carnivorous dinosaurs, up to 15’ tall. The entire Connecticut River Valley – which scientists believe was a sub-tropical swamp a “mere” 190 million years ago – has long been recognized for its wealth of prehistoric footprints.

The first dinosaur prints to be scientifically described are still here to be seen, preserved in sandstone since this valley was a sub-tropical mix of wetlands and shallow lakes, 190 million years ago. The larger Eubrontes prints were likely made by ancestors of the great Tyrannosaurus rex, standing up to 15’ tall and 20’ long. You can see hundreds of fossils not only from the four distinct two-legged dinosaurs, but also stromatolites, fish, plants and other ancient beings. Finally, look for the 20+ dinosaurs trackways, which formed the basis for the novel theory that dinosaurs travelled in packs or groups.

A short trail parallels Route 5 northward from the entrance to the location of the dinosaur footprints. Easy walking.

When to Visit
April 1 to November 30, daily, sunrise to sunset (closed in winter due to icy, slippery conditions). Allow a minimum of ½ hour.

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