Monday, June 8, 2009

Daytrip Roadtripping: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center & Dinosaur Valley State Park

My favorite type of Roadtripping is one that goes on for weeks and covers a lot of miles. But there is another genre of Roadtripping, that being the Roadtrip that starts from home and ends up back home at the end of the day.

This would be what is known as a Daytrip.

It is possible to cover a lot of miles and see a lot of scenery on a Daytrip. Where I used to live, Western Washington, I had a lot of Daytrip options, from mountains to saltwater to desert to another country.

I am now in Texas, with not quite the same variety of Daytrip options. My favorite Daytrip, that I've Roadtripped since I've been in Texas, has been to go to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Fossil Rim is about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

You drive yourself through the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where there are over 1000 animals, most roaming free. Some sticking there heads in your open window.

Fossil Rim is on the northern edge of Texas Hill Country. The park has the steepest road grades that I've driven in Texas, both uphill and down. Some so steep a "Shift to Low Gear" sign is posted.

Visit my Eyes on Texas website for more information about the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, including a map, directions and a lot of pictures.

There are some other attractions in the Fossil Rim area that you can make part of your Daytrip. Dinosaur Valley State Park is a short distance away. In Dinosaur Valley you can see Dinosaur tracks, wade in the Paluxy River, go on a hike that will take you up a steep trail to great views of the valley below.

If you are a mountain biker, Dinosaur Valley State Park has very good trails. The trails are color-coded, as in the white trail, the blue trail, the red trail, the yellow trail. You would think having trails marked like this would make it hard to get lost. You would be wrong. I have gotten completely lost twice while biking at Dinosaur Valley. So, if you hike or bike the trails, pay close attention each time you come to a trail junction.

Visit my Eyes on Texas website for more information about Dinosaur Valley State Park, including directions, a map, video and more pictures.

Dinosaur Valley State Park and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center are very close to the town of Glen Rose. You'll find many restaurant and lodging options in Glen Rose. You'll also find Big Rocks Park, which is worth a stop to climb on the Big Rocks on the Paluxy River. Glen Rose is the county seat of Somervell County. The Glen Rose Courthouse Square is one of the classic Texas courthhouse squares, along with Weatherford's, Waxahachie's and Granbury.

Speaking of Granbury, stopping in that town is always part of my daytrips to the Glen Rose zone. Granbury puts on the best small town festivals and parades that I have been to in Texas. Including General Granbury's Birthday and the best 4th of July Parade I've ever seen. The area around Granbury's Courthouse Square is very tourist friendly, with a lot of people touring and a lot of stores and restaurants.

You can also easily make a pass through Weatherford, the location of another classic Texas courthouse square, as part of a Daytrip to the Glen Rose zone, making a loop out of the Roadtrip. I've done that more times than I can remember. Weatherford is where the Parker County Peach Festival takes place every year in July.

So, that completes my first Roadtripping Blogging about a Daytrip. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

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