Date Visited: May 31, 2016
Location: US-5, Holyoke, MA – it comes up pretty quick (about half a mile from the entrance to Mount Tom on Reservation Rd).
Hours: Open from dawn until dusk
Parking: There is room for about 5 cars.
Dog Friendly: I didn’t see during my visit. But, yes, they are welcome!
Highlights: Dinosaur footprints, Connecticut River behind the footprints, active wildlife, very short and easy trail to the footprints and river
A long, long time ago, the entire Connecticut River Valley, specifically the Holyoke area, was home to a variety of dinosaurs. And you can still see their footprints in the ancient mudflaps of the region. There are also remnants of flowers and even ripples of water from the streams that once flowed in the area.
The prints are believed to have been formed during the early Jurassic period, making them approximately 200 million years old. Or, about as long as your average RMV/DMV wait time.
The main types of dinosaurs that are thought to have existed in this location are theropod dinosaurs. Theropod dinosaurs are mainly 2 legged creatures. Some of the more well-known Theropods are Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velicoraptor and Torvosaurus (think some of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park movies). It is believed these types of dinosaurs evolved into the birds that we now see so prevalent in the area.
I did see a lot of bird life but I didn’t see any theropods.
One of the nice surprises was seeing the stream behind the footprints; the Connecticut River. In fact, although seeing the footprints was cool, this may have been the highlight of the trip for me.
The Dinosaur Footprints Reservation is a great place to visit if you want to check out some cool remnants from a distant era. But, it is also a nice place to go and sit by the river or go fishing. Just don’t stay too long if you start seeing the water shaking. You know, like in the movie.
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