Snake Road to close for fall migration

Snakes in southern Illinois will begin slithering into hibernation, so the forest service is...
Snakes in southern Illinois will begin slithering into hibernation, so the forest service is shutting a road down to help them safely cross.(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 3:02 PM CDT
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WOLF LAKE, Ill. (KFVS) - The Shawnee National Forest will close Snake Road for the fall migration.

Forest Service Road No. 345 is also known as Snake Road due to several species of snakes and amphibians that migrate in the area.

The 2.5-mile-long road closes the week of September 1 through October 30 to allow their migration from their summer habitat in the LaRue Swamp across the road to their winter habitat in the limestone bluffs.

While the road is closed to vehicles, it is open to people traveling on foot.

“The road closure is very important in maintaining the health population that exists there,” said Mark Vukovich, forest service wildlife biologist. “Three species are listed as threatened in the state of Illinois.”

Snake Road is located within the federally designated LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Natural Area.

The following special regulations apply on Snake Road and the entire Research Natural Area throughout the year:

  • Unauthorized collecting and handling of any animal species is prohibited
  • No collecting of any kind; Including plants or animals
  • No tongs, hooks, bags or containers of any kind

To further protect the animals and their habitats visitors should also:

  • Stay on Snake Road and do not create trails
  • Don’t damage vegetation or pick wildflowers
  • Don’t move rocks or logs
  • Do not harass or corral wildlife – Watch nature from a distance
  • Pack out their garbage and dispose of it off national forest land

The gradual, two-month migration attracts people from across the country.

About 57 percent of the amphibians and 56 percent of the reptiles known to occur in Illinois are found here.

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