DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK
Dinosaur Valley State Park, located just northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County, is a 1524.72-acre, scenic park set astride the Paluxy River. The land for the park was acquired from private owners under the State Parks Bonds Program during 1968 and opened to the public in 1972.
Eastward-dipping limestones, sandstones, and mudstones, deposited from approximately 113 million years ago along the shorelines of an ancient sea, form the geological setting for the park area. Over the last million years or so, these layered formations have been dissected and sculpted by the Paluxy River which, in many places, has cut down to resistant beds and planed off sizable exposures of rock in the river bottom.
The Paluxy River runs through the area, and the terrain is wooded, hilly, and semi-rocky. Plants in the Paluxy River drainage are characteristic of the Cross Timbers and Prairie vegetational areas. The uplands show similarities with the plants of the Edwards Plateau to the south and west, supporting Ashe juniper, live oak, Texas red oak, and Texas ash, with some post oak and mesquite and various grasses and shrubs. Trees in the bottom lands are mainly American elm, cedar elm, Texas sugarberry, burr oak, and green ash. In well-watered zones along the river, the woodlands are made up of pecan, walnut, cottonwood, sycamore, black willow, and several kinds of shrubs, and vines.
The area hosts many species of both resident and migrant birds including the endangered Golden-Cheek Warbler and the Black-Capped Vireo along with wild turkeys. Waterfowl are occasionally seen near ponds and slack water pools. Mammals known to live in this environment include white-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, beaver, skunk, opossum, armadillo, fox squirrel, rabbit, and small rodents. There are also several kinds of lizards and snakes, and a variety of fish live in suitable portions of the river. A bird checklist is available at park headquarters. Go to the USGS Somervell County Butterfly Checklist for information on butterflies in this area.