The Pali Canon consists of three baskets (aka ti-pitaka).
There's the Sutta Pitaka which contains the Buddha's teachings (of which Dhammapada is a small part)
There's the Vinaya Pitaka which covers the monastic discipline, and finally...
There's the Abhidhamma Pitaka which covers psychological analysis of mindstates, and was ratified at the Third Buddhist Council.
The teachings are to be investigated, and if they seem reasonable, put into practice to see whether they are beneficial.
If/when they are seen to be beneficial, one is inclined to investigate and test them more deeply.
Whilst of course you can't validate the existence or truth of certain milestones before you get there, you can determine whether the application of these teachings (as best as you understand them and are capable and committed to following them) is bringing you happiness, calmness and a reduction in suffering.
If you like what you see in the Dhammapada, I would recommend further investigation of the Sutta Pitaka, either through books, or on sites like Access To Insight where suttas can be read for free.
If you wish to pursue meditation to complement your investigations, there are also many options available in that space too.