A hidden treasure in Bluff City’s Backyard Terrors, Dinosaur Park

Published 1:04 pm Monday, October 3, 2022

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BY C.Y. Peters
Star Correspondent
If you loved the Jurassic Park movies, you would have a ball at Backyard Terrors and Dinosaur Park in Bluff City.
Located about five minutes from the Carter County line, the donation-based dinosaur park features more than 50 scale replicas of prehistoric creatures with more coming soon; self-guided tours; a playground area; a gift shop; picnic areas; and food delivery services from area eateries.
Built in Chris Kastner’s backyard, the park features an array of life-size dinosaurs, a skeleton-crew pirate ship, and some bloody horror clowns.
Kastner said the dinosaur park is a dream of his that started with a desire for a life size dinosaur. “I couldn’t afford one so through much trial and error I built myself one in 2007,” he said. “We received a lot of cars stopping to take pictures of our first one, the Jurassic Park-like Raptor that now stands just outside the entrance. After that one we built another and another, finally deciding to make a park for all to enjoy.”
The park currently has more than 60 prehistoric creatures “with more coming soon as we grow,” Kastner said. “We have a picnic area and the local Pizza Plus delivers here. We also have a small gift shop.”
Kastner’s desire was to share the park with all children, hence the decision to open as a donation-based attraction. “We want children of all ages to be able to afford to come here and experience life-sized creatures from our wonderful prehistoric past,” he said, explaining that admission is free and patrons can make a donation if they desire. “All donations and gift shop purchases will aid us in expanding and becoming a better attraction for our patrons.”
The park is open from 9 a.m. until dark each day. Tours are self-guided, and photos and videos are permitted. “We ask that no one touch the dinosaurs or exhibits except where intended,” Kastner said. “There are maps available for free at the entrance with information on the animals in the park and informational signs on each animal.”
The park also hosts birthday parties and special events. For more information, email backyardterrors@gmail.com.
The park is located at 1065 Walnut Grove Road, Bluff City, and is about a 15-minute drive from Elizabethton.
“Thank you so much for allowing us to do what we are good at and being able to serve the public while doing it,” Kastner said. “Our mission as always is to entertain, educate, and impress.”

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