Scenic USA - New Mexico

Clayton State Park

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Clayton Lake - Clayton State Park, New Mexico

Photos by Ron McEwan

   Clayton Lake and surrounding state park are found in northeast corner of New Mexico. Placed on the western edge of the Great Plains, the park area is characterized by rolling hills and grasslands. The 170 acre Clayton Lake is noted for its fishing and record catches of walleye. Seneca Creek was dammed in the 70s, creating the lake and a wintertime stopover for migratory birds. Dino Footprint
   In 1982, floodwaters uncovered early Cretaceous sandstone rock layers and a huge surprise ... some 500 rock dinosaur footprints exposed in the rock. For inquisitive park visitors, interpretive markers in the park identify the dinosaur and crocodile tracks. This Dakota Group strata extends from central New Mexico, through Colorado into southern Wyoming. Because of the large amount dino footprint impressions, the lengthy lane of tracks is sometimes referred to as the "dinosaur freeway". Besides the dinosaur and crocodilian tracks, Mesozoic bird footprints are also found at Clayton State Park. Dinosaur bones have yet to be discovered, and the tracks are the only evidence of ancient life found at this park site.

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