Opened in 1963, this attraction featured animatronic dinosaurs and cavemen made of fiberglass and Styrofoam. The animals had motorized jaws and limbs that squeaked open in tandem with tape-recorded roars as tourists passed by in the Safari Train. At the front of the park stood a towering waterfall, a water slide and a volcano that belched smoke. It was campy and kitschy and had the early 1960s written all over it.
The construction of I-94 drew much of the travel traffic away, changing entertainment tastes and redirecting tourists elsewhere. The theme parks along U.S.-12 began to wither, the tourist stops closed and the route is now a graveyard of once-popular roadside attractions.
When Prehistoric Forest closed in 1999, many of the dinosaurs were left behind in the woods, suffering through Michigan’s harsh seasons. They also became a favorite target of vandals. As of 2019 the new owner had plans of restoring and re-opening the property according to the Detroit Free Press.