TRAVEL HERE: FOSSIL RIM WILDLIFE CENTER IN GLEN ROSE
When Mercedes Benz gave Bill a brand new, bright red, loaner sedan while his older hatchback was in the shop, he woke up on a Sunday morning with a desire to put the loaner through it’s paces. After rejecting several other suggestions he decided Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas was just the ticket.
Visiting Fossil Rim
Glen Rose is a couple of hours from our home in Far North Dallas. We’d made a weekend of the quaint town at least a decade ago, but hadn’t been back since. Fossil Rim is not the only thing to do while you’re there. The Brazos River offers great tubing and Big Rocks Park provides a Brazos swimming hole. The Promise Theater is there with it’s famous show. Oh – and dinosaur stuff, lots of dinosaur stuff. Some of the best dinosaur tracks in the world were found right in one of their creeks. On the trip we discovered how dependent we’d become on Bill’s GPS, since the loaner didn’t have one. Funny how quickly technology takes over.
The animals at Fossil Rim are marvelous and I recommend heartily that you put this on your “to-do” list. The center is open pretty much every day of the year, with the exception of a few holidays, so you don’t have to squeeze it into your summer. In fact, a summer weekend is the most expensive time to go, $22.95 per adult. It’s a cheaper on weekdays and in the winter. There are discounts for kids, seniors, etc., but Bill and I didn’t qualify for any.
If we had kids, I’d probably get a family membership and make it a frequent outing. A family of four could get in free for a whole year for only $168. For the price of admission (or membership) you can stay as long as you want – as long as you’re gone by the time they close. I can imagine that with a carload of kids this place could easily entertain you all day.
We made a photo safari out of our time there, but I was jealous of the pickup truck full of giggly kids who were being sniffed and licked by the fauna. As long as you keep the doors closed and don’t try to feed the animals out of your hand, you can get up close and personal (if you have a pick-up truck or convertible). Word to the wise though, giraffes will stick their heads in a sun roof and drool on you. We learned that on our last trip.
The focus at Fossil Rim is on big horned animals, which are very beautiful to look at, but if you want lions,tigers and bears, this is not the place. They do have rhinos and cheetahs, but they are safely behind fences. A few feathered friends, some wild horses and a herd of zebra are thrown in for variety. There are 1,700 acres to enjoy on a 9.5 mile road, but don’t think this is something you can whiz through in a half hour.
Well, maybe you could, but you’d miss the fun. Whenever we got close to a group of animals, we’d stop and see what happened. More often than not, we’d find ourselves surrounded by curious faces. The animals are looking for food – and you can buy a bag of it with your admission – but because of the food, the animals are very interested in the visitors.
Half-way through the park, there’s a gift shop, restrooms and a snack bar. The snack bar has everything from a quick snack to a quick meal. Wolfgang Puck wouldn’t recommend it, but it serves a purpose. The snack bar has a big deck overlooking the park. It’s great to watch zebras frolic in tall grasses and think, “I’m in TEXAS!”
Now for the sad part. One of the reasons I’m encouraging you to visit is because they definitely need the business. When we arrived at the entry gate, I noticed things were not as crisp as they had been on our first visit, but I got so interested in the animals that I forgot to look for other signs of neglect. Arriving at the half-way complex, the neglect became more obvious. Everything needed a little maintenance. I’m not saying it was falling down or anything, it just looked like it needed a little love. Also, you could tell there used to be a lot more to do when you made your midway stop, but I’m guessing they need a little more in the way of guests and money to support the activities. If you know anybody who writes grants, I think Fossil Rim could use a little help.
That being said, we really enjoyed our day-trip and I think anyone who cares about animals and/or enjoys watching them would love their visit. Put it on your calendar. And if you know that grant writer, see if they have any interest. Hope you enjoy our photos.