About the Park
Open to the PublicLocated in Laurel, Maryland, Dinosaur Park preserves one of the most important dinosaur fossil sites east of the Mississippi River. Visitors can explore a garden of Cretaceous-era plants and view interpretive signs which describe Maryland’s dinosaurs, the prehistoric environment, and the African American history of the area.
The garden area and interpretive signs can be visited from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. The fenced fossil site is accessible during free Open Houses from 12 to 4 pm on the first and third Saturdays of each month. For more information, please call the M-NCPPC Archaeology Office at 301-657-1286.
Important Notes• The fenced-in fossil area is only accessible during Open House hours or by appointment. No unsupervised access to the fossil site is permitted.
• No personal fossil collecting is allowed in the Park. Digging or removal of any fossils is prohibited.
• There is a portable toilet on-site, but no permanent restrooms.
• There is a small picnic area, but no water or other amenities in the park.
• Limited parking is available on-site and is reserved for visitors with special needs. Parking is plentiful along Mid Atlantic Boulevard, a short walk from the Dinosaur Park entrance.
The mission of Dinosaur Park is to preserve, protect, and interpret paleontological resources via research and management of fossil deposits, and to provide hands-on public programs for the benefit of the citizens of Maryland.
Although dinosaur discoveries are often associated with the western United States, significant fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals are also known from the east coast. In the 1800s and early 1900s, the Arundel clays in Prince George’s County were mined for siderite, or iron ore. Iron furnaces located throughout the region melted down siderite to produce iron used in construction and manufacturing. In 1858, African American miners working in open pit mines were the first to discover dinosaur fossils in Maryland.