Stand in million-year-old dinosaur footprints. Enjoy an inspiring retelling of the life of Jesus Christ. Bound over top-class mountain biking trails. Paddle on the clear waters of a scenic river. These are some of the top things to do in Glen Rose, a small town situated about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth that offers plenty of unique experiences. If you're considering a trip to Glen Rose, read on to discover some of the things you must do while you're in town.
Glen Rose is known as the Dinosaur Capital of Texas due to the wealth of fossils and tracks imprinted in the soil millions of years ago by enormous sauropods and theropods.
There aren’t many places that have as many fine examples of these tracks as Dinosaur Valley State Park, a scenic 1,500-acre natural area situated a few miles northwest of Glen Rose.
Four major track sites can be found in the park that contain footprints as long as three feet. The best time to see these tracks is in the late summer, when water levels are low and conditions are dry.
Although seeing the dinosaur tracks is a breathtaking experience, it’s not the only reason to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park. For starters, there are about 20 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that weave through the hilly and densely forested terrain to explore. Swimming and fishing on the Paluxy River, which runs right through the middle of the park, are two more ways to enjoy your time in this scenic park. Finally, there is a 100-acre primitive area on the south end of the park for those who want to go horseback riding. Due to its wealth of dinosaur tracks, ample recreational opportunities, and gorgeous natural terrain, Dinosaur Valley Natural Park is a definite must-visit while you’re in Glen Rose.
For a different kind of cretaceous experience, head to Dinosaur World, a 20-acre museum full of all sorts of activities for the whole family. Walk among more than 150 life-size dinosaurs, including the feared tyrannosaurus rex and the iconic triceratops, and browse a museum full of authentic prehistoric fossils and casts. If you’ve brought the kids, they’ll enjoy getting their hands dirty at the guided fossil dig activity, excavating a 27-foot skeleton at the boneyard, or selecting their own geode to crack open. Many of the wonders of the prehistoric world can be seen and experienced at Dinosaur World in Glen Rose, situated just one mile south of Dinosaur Valley State Park.
Picture this: you're cruising on a winding road over lush grassy fields and past the occasional oak tree until you round a corner and see a herd of giraffes lounging in an open field. At the moment, you may ask yourself: am I still in Texas? Indeed you are, brave explorer. You're at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center right here in Glen Rose, a vast habitat for exotic and endangered animals from around the world. As you meander along Fossil Rim's 9.5-mile driving trail, you may see such animals as white rhinoceroses, axis deer, bongos, cheetahs, scimitar-horned oryxes, ostriches, and zebras. You can even feed some of the larger herbivores from your car window if you buy animal feed at the wildlife center's entrance. If you get hungry yourself, make sure to stop by the Overlook Cafe, a restaurant located about halfway through the trail. A children's activity center with a petting zoo is also located here, offering direct interaction with cute goats and other cuddly creatures.
If you'd rather just sit back and enjoy the ride, contact Fossil Rim to arrange a guided tour of the park. Overnight lodging is also available for those who would like to extend their stay. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is open throughout the year except on major holidays.
Experience the life of Jesus Christ told in stunning fashion at The Promise in Glen Rose. The Promise is an inspirational musical production that includes a 150-person cast and crew wearing historically accurate costumes, dazzling special effects, and live animals. This family-friendly show is held at the largest permanent outdoor amphitheater in Texas, a 3,200-seat venue situated just north of town. Shows are offered April through May and September through October, and you can purchase tickets using The Promise's website. If you're in Glen Rose in these months, you can't miss out on this moving experience.
The city of Glen Rose sits on the north bank of the Paluxy River, a picturesque waterway bordered by limestone bluffs and towering oak trees. One of the best ways to take in all the spectacular scenery is by climbing into a canoe and exploring the Paluxy, which intersects with two other rivers (the Brazos and Squaw Creek) just east of town. Fortunately, there are quite a few places you can go to rent a canoe if you don't have yours handy. One such option is Tres Rios River Ranch, an aptly-named camp site and activities park that offers canoe rentals at the aforementioned intersection of the three rivers. Head a little farther east, past where the Brazos crosses Highway 67, and you'll encounter two more options: Low Water Canoe Rentals and Rhodes Canoe Rentals. Regardless of which company you go with, you'll have easy access to some of the prettiest areas near Glen Rose, while also enjoying a good bit of exercise.
Glen Rose also has its fair share of land-based adventure as well. If you're a die-hard mountain biker, you have to stop by Solavaca Ranch, a privately owned ranch with more than eight miles of single-track mountain biking trails. These trails feature everything you'd want from a well-rounded ride, such as rocky descents, steep climbs, and man-made obstacles like ramps and bridges. Although riders of any skill level can have plenty of fun in the ranch, there are some sections that are best suited for advanced riders. Before you add Solavaca Ranch to your itinerary, you should know that they do not offer mountain bike rentals. So make sure to bring your own wheels and enjoy a thrilling day conquering Solavaca's thrilling trails.
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