Beck Mountain Corn Maze opens today, introduces Murder Manor attraction Oct. 2

Published 9:32 am Thursday, September 24, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Blake Gentry (left), son of owners Curtis and Desie Gentry, Matthew Miller (center) and Travis Boggs (right) compete in the pumpkin flume race, in which Boggs championed his opponents, as he promised.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Blake Gentry (left), son of owners Curtis and Desie Gentry, Matthew Miller (center) and Travis Boggs (right) compete in the pumpkin flume race, in which Boggs championed his opponents, as he promised.

Family-owned and -operated Beck Mountain Corn Maze opens for the season Friday, offering hay rides, a petting zoo, a rope obstacle course and the opportunity to wander in its 4-acre corn maze. Haunted maze activities will begin Oct. 2 at dark.
“This is something affordable that the whole family will enjoy,” co-owner Desie Gentry said. She said prices have not changed in five years and they have added activities. Her husband, Curtis, son Blake and she built everything and went out into the maze to pick the corn earlier in the season to make the pathway for the maze. Each year they add more activities and improved facilities, and somehow find time to make their own barbecue pulled pork.
The maze this year says “Des,” in the corner when viewed aerially, named after Desie, and is fun for all ages to tour. Children younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult, and owners ask that people respect the maze by refraining from making new paths.
Outside of the maze is a funny photo opportunity where people can stand behind wooden scarecrow cutouts and be the scarecrows’ faces. Additionally, the Gentrys built a giant bear and tractor out of hay, and people can climb on the tractor for a photo.
After touring the maze, people can compete in the pumpkin flume race, a challenge in which participants compete to pump water down a chute, floating a plastic pumpkin across the finish line the fastest.
For a relaxing close to a fun-filled afternoon, the Gentrys offer a half-hour hay ride on a 1-mile loop up the mountain with a pristine view into the valley.
“This attraction showcases our area, and people love it, especially the haunted corn maze,” neighbor Nadine said. ” ‘Corn maze’ doesn’t begin to describe what all they offer.”
Children will enjoy the miniature hay maze and “needle in the haystack” activity finale. After venturing through the hay maze, they arrive at a haystack, in which they will find miniature gourds and pumpkins. Once everyone has found one, Desie will teach a lesson about their uses and how they grow. Then each child can decorate his or her gourd and take it home as a souvenir.
They can also play in Granny’s Place and Playground, which has a tower, tunnel, ladders and a giant sand box with trucks.
Baby ducks, miniature donkeys, goats, sheep and a potbelly pig will be present in a petting zoo.
Several stations are setup for people to do a mock bull roping, in which they may practice throwing a lasso on a sawhorse bulls.
Another attraction is the rope obstacle course, in which participants put on a belt that is connected to a rope, and then find their way through an obstacle course throughout which the rope is wound.
Aside from homemade pulled pork, they sell deep fried oreos, hot dogs and beverages.
General admission tickets are $6 per person. The mini-maze with the needle in the haystack activity for kids is an additional $2. The hayride is also $2 more.
Hours are 3-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 p.m. until late on Fridays. Saturday hours are 11 a.m. until late, and Sunday it is open 1-6 p.m.
Haunted features will begin Oct. 2 at dark and will continue through Halloween weekend.
The haunted maze, swarming with goblins and ghouls, will be open at dark on Friday and Saturday nights and will last until the last victim is served. The last tickets will be sold at midnight.
New this year is a haunted house named Murder Manor, in which only the brave enter in search of the “boo-rag,” a little red monster that will be hiding in one of the scenes. Whoever finds it and returns it to the barn will win a free pass to the Johnson City Family Skate Center and a free meal at Fatz Cafe.
If they make it out of Murder Manor alive, guests may run screaming into the haunted maze to find it swarming with goblins and ghouls.
In October, tickets are $12 to take the hayride and then enter the haunted maze, $12 for the hayride and then the Murder Manor or $20 for all three.

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