Dinosaur Trail

Outdoor Exhibit
Opens at 10:00 am
Year-Round
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Step into the world of the late Cretaceous period on the Museum’s Dinosaur Trail and enjoy an up-close look at over a dozen life-sized dinosaurs. Discover what a Parasaurolophus’ skin might have felt like and even snap a one-of-a-kind photo! Grab a shovel and search for real marine fossils in the Fossil Dig site, including shark teeth and fossilized coral.


Dig for ancient fossils

Our Fossil Dig site is filled with dirt that has been trucked in from an area in Eastern North Carolina that is rich with marine fossils – specifically, a mine that used to be on the ocean floor! The fossils in the dirt are 5 million to 23 million years old; too young to contain any dinosaur fossils, but full of the remains of ancient sharks, fish, corals, and shells. Pick up a shovel, dig in, and see what you find!


Learn more about albertosaurus

“Is that a T. rex?” Not exactly. Our Albertosaurus is an early relative of a T. rex and lived during the late Cretaceous period making him an accurate choice for including amidst Styracosaurus and other dinosaurs from this period. Look for this dinosaur to make a dramatic start to your Dinosaur Trail visit!


Snap a picture with a parasaurolophus

This dinosaur likely ran on its back two legs, but ate and rested down on all four. We chose to position this sculpture lying down to serve as a great photo opportunity for you to take pictures of yourself face-to-face with a dinosaur! You'll notice this sculpture is the only one not behind a barrier. It was specially designed to be extra durable to withstand lots of touching and up-close exploration.


Find a maiasaura mother

Although we only show one Maiasaura and her nest along our Dinosaur Trail, Maiasaura remains suggest they nested in large colonies. The nests were scattered just far enough apart so the adults protecting each one wouldn’t touch tails! As you explore the trail, keep an eye out for a Troodon lurking beside the Maiasaura eyeing her hatchling.