Dinosaur Valley State Park is located in the relatively well-settled and cultivated eastern half of Texas - not for another 100 miles southwest does the land become emptier and more desert-like. Around the park is an area of quiet backroads with little traffic, passing through ranchland with woods, meadows and grassy verges filled with wildflowers of many colors. The large population centre of Dallas-Fort Worth is less than an hour's drive away, but there are plenty of peaceful locations nearby, including various state parks:
- Cleburne State Park (22 miles to the east) - a small lake surrounded by forest, with a campsite and boating facilities.
- Meridan State Park (32 miles south along state road 144) - another small lake, encircled by a loop path (the Bosque Trail) through the surrounding woodland. The lake is a good place to spot wildlife, including armadillo.
- Lake Mineral Wells State Park (60 miles) - a larger lake north of I-20. The park includes several miles of a wooded valley, and offers the usual camping, fishing and wildlife observing possibilities.
- Lake Whitney Recreation Area (60 miles southeast) - a large reservoir formed by damming the Brazos river. Particularly noted for fishing and bird watching.
There are many lakes and reservoirs in this part of Texas, and over 25 of them are linked by the Texas Lakes Trail
, one of 10 driving tours linking related attractions and scenic places in the state. The 644 mile trail passes through Glen Rose and past Lake Whitney then heads east and north up towards the Oklahoma border, returning south through Dallas.