Were it not for the water-powered gristmill erected on the Paluxy River in 1860, the history of Somervell County might have taken an entirely different direction. The mill, which created flour and corn meals that were in demand as far south as Waco, facilitated trade and brought commerce to the fledging community of Glen Rose. After serving as a mill, a health spa, and a hospital, the mill structure became a museum and history center known as Barnard’s Mill Museum, named after one of the mill’s founders, Charles E. Barnard. Today, the museum presents exhibits related to the region’s history, as well as artwork relating to the West.
Here’s your chance to hike or bike on 20 miles of trails, ride horses, camp, and splash in the Paluxy River, where dinosaur footprints are visible in the riverbed. Call 254/897-4588.
More than 1,000 animals from 50 species live on this 1,800-acre preserve on the outskirts of Glen Rose, which is the first facility of its kind to be accredited by the Association of Zoos And Aquariums. Most visitors to Fossil Rim see the animals and preserve via the nearly ten-mile driving tour through various habitats, but you can also take a guided tour or stay overnight at either the five-room lodge or in a “tent cabin” overlooking one of Fossil Rim’s most popular watering holes. Waterbuck-viewing with your morning coffee? Yes please. Call 254/897-2960.
Bring your camera to this 20-acre, zany salute to the Glen Rose area’s long-ago dinosaurs, sidle up to a trio of Triceratops, and be prepared to amaze your Instagram and Facebook friends. More than 150 life-size dinosaur sculptures, along with an interactive “boneyard,” a giant “Skeletal Playground,” and a museum featuring mammoth bones, trilobite fossils, and dinosaur eggs, make Dinosaur World a family-friendly must-see. “Family-friendly” also means pet-friendly, so bring your leash-trained pups along for the ride this time, too. Call 254/898-1526.
Historic Courthouse Square
Built in 1893-94, the Romanesque Somervell County Courthouse anchors Glen Rose’s picturesque town square, where shops, museums, and restaurants do business within sight of a bronze statue honoring Charles and Juana Barnard, two of Glen Rose’s founders. The courthouse was recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1963. Call 254/897-3081.