Snake Road reopens after serpents slither into nearby swamp

The Shawnee National Forest is home to critters of all sorts

The snakes are out of hibernation and on the move in southern Illinois!

snake roadFor the last two months, reptiles and amphibians in the Shawnee National Forest have migrated from limestone bluffs across what's known as Snake Road, to nearby LaRue Swamp.

The forest service closes a portion of Snake Road each spring to make sure these critters, some of which are considered threatened and endangered, can safely cross.

As of May 15, the road will reopen to vehicular traffic between milepost 3.0 and milepost 5.8.

Of course, foot traffic is still welcome! Now that hibernation is over, snakes, frogs, salamanders and turtles will move freely around the LaRue-Pine Hills.

CAUTION:  Unauthorized collecting and handling of any of these species is prohibited under federal and state law.

To reach Snake Road from Jonesboro: Take Highway 146 west 8 miles to Highway 3; then north 8 miles on Highway 3 to Muddy Levee Road. Then east 3 miles to LaRue Rd., at the ‘T’ turn right into Winters Pond parking lot.  They can also reach this from the south entrance off of LaRue Rd (some people like to walk from here north and turn around part way)

To reach Snake Road from Murphysboro: Take Highway 149 west 7 miles to Highway 3; then south 14 miles on Highway 3 to Muddy Levee Road. Then east 3 miles to LaRue Rd., at the ‘T’ turn right into Winters Pond parking lot.

Timber Rattler

Timber Rattler

Nora Davis, a wildlife photographer who calls Hayti, Missouri home, enjoys capturing snakes on camera. She photographed this Timber Rattler as it embarked on its great migration.

Copperhead

Copperhead

A Copperhead is on the move along Snake Road.

(Source: Nora Davis/Nora Duffy Photography)

Cottonmouth

Cottonmouth

A Cottonmouth shows off its fangs as it makes its trek across Snake Road.

(Source: Nora Davis/Nora Duffy Photography)

Rattler

Rattler

A Timber Rattler is making the great migration in Union County.

(Source: Nora Davis/Nora Duffy Photography)