Nash Dinosaur Track Site

594 Amherst Road
413-467-9566

Before 1802, the idea that ancient creatures called dinosaurs once roamed the earth was unknown. It is probably true that native Americans saw strange track like markings in the stones along stream beds. However, what they thought them to be is lost to history.In 1802, a young farm boy by the name of Pliny Moody was plowing a field in South Hadley, Massachusetts . He unearthed a stone slab that had strange markings on it that looked a lot like large bird tracks. He took the slab to the educated people of his day, who were mostly christian clergy, to get their opinion on what they were. They declared them to be the tracks of Noah's raven. (Noah, when he was on the biblical ark, sent out a raven that never returned to the ark.) It was thought that the raven finally touched down in South Hadley and left its tracks in the mud. This is what the tracks were thought to be until the 1830's.  In the 1830's they came to the attention of professor Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts . After some study, he declared them to be the tracks of ancient birds, not the tracks of Noah’s raven. He held that belief until his death in 1865. He is the person who began the study of vertebrate ichnology, which is the study of ancient vertebrate track and trace fossils. He continued to study the ancient tracks in the area until his death, traveling around the Connecticut River Valley collecting what was to later become the largest collection of dinosaur tracks in the world. In 1841, Sir Richard Owen suggested the name dinosuria for a number of large skeletons found in Europe. However, it wasn’t until after the American Civil War that the concept of the dinosaur became more widespread and popular. It was sometime after this that scientists revisited the ancient “bird tracks” of the Connecticut River Valley and finally declared them to be the tracks of dinosaurs .


Reviews

Cieraa Grace

Rating:
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017

If I could give it a 0 I would. Sad thing is I would love to give this place a 5 star because we had a blast. Me and my three year old hunted and hunted for a toe or footprint. We spent over an hr there and ended up finding an entire dinosaur footprint that my son was over the moon excited about. We showed the owner and he took it from us and then said we would need to pay $50 to buy it. Even though the entire point of paying to get in was to go out back and look for fossils. It just felt wrong and it wasn't a good experience all around my son had no idea why we now didn't get to keep our foot print and why we wouldn't be going back.

Brian Watson

Rating:
Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017

Didn't really see anything and didn't get value for the $3 I paid. The best tracks have been cut out for sale in the gift shop. Dinosaur Footprints Reservation in Holyoke is much better and only ~7mi away.

Ravikiran R

Rating:
Friday, May 26, 2017

You can find dinosaur tracks here..And a great mini museum where you can buy stuff and too. Collectors heaven !

melissa masse

Rating:
Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016

A Classic roadside style gift shop And a dinosaur track digsite you can walk in. One of the best stops on our trip! We have photos of us laying in the path the dinosaurs walked!

Steven H

Rating:
Thursday, July 14, 2016

If you want to see AND touch real dinosaur tracks, this is the place to go. If you'd like to own a dinosaur track this is the only place to go. You can also go into the actual dinosaur track quarry and see tracks in the ground. However, in the quarry what you'll see varies because it is a working quarry and tracks are being dug up and new ones being revealed all the time. Be sure to talk with the owner. He is an encyclopedia of information about dinosaur tracks, as well as local history related to dinosaur tracks.