Snake Road in Union Co., Il closed for fall migration - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Snake Road in Union Co., Il closed for fall migration

(Source: Marsha Clinch/KFVS) (Source: Marsha Clinch/KFVS)
(Source: Marsha Clinch/KFVS) (Source: Marsha Clinch/KFVS)
(Source: Marsha Clinch/KFVS) (Source: Marsha Clinch/KFVS)
HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

Why did the snake cross the road? To hibernate for the winter, that's why.

The United States Department of Agriculture said the road closed on Sept. 1 to allow snakes and amphibians safe passage in The Shawnee National Forrest.

Some of them are considered endangered so the organization wants to make it clear that it's important they make it across.

The path these travelers take from the limestone bluffs near the road to the La Rue Swamp.

While the road is known as Snake Road due to the bi-annual migration is formally known as La Rue Rd. or Forrest Service Road 345.

The gradual migration lasts for two months, and attracts onlookers from across the region who are interested in seeing their instinctive path.

The USDA touts that 59% of reptiles and 66% of amphibians known to occur in Illinois can be seen during this migration.

“Snakes and amphibians migrate to the bluffs where they hibernate for the winter,” said Chad Deaton, a wildlife biologist with Shawnee National Forest. “Cottonmouths are the most common snake that can be seen during this migration.”

The road will be closed between the 3.0 and 5.8 mile marks and will remain closed until October 30.

Common names of reptiles and amphibians seen in this area are: American toad, bird-voiced tree frog, black racer, black rat snake , broadhead skink , brown snake, bullfrog, green frog, cave salamander, central newt, common kingsnake, common snapping turtle, copperhead, cottonmouth , cricket frog, diamondback water snake , eastern box turtle, eastern garter snake, eastern hognose snake, fence lizard, five-lined skink, flathead snake, Fowler's toad, gray tree frog, green tree frog, ground skink, lesser siren, long tail salamander, marbled salamander, midland water snake, Mississippi green water snake , mud snake, musk turtle, painted turtle, red milksnake, red-bellied snake , red-eared slider, ringneck snake , rough green snake, slimy salamander, smooth earth snake , southern leopard frog, Spotted salamander, spring peeper, timber rattlesnake, upland chorus frog, western ribbon snake , wood frog, and worm snake.

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.

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