Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer for humans and Union County snakes.
On Sept. 1 the Shawnee National Forest will temporarily close LaRue Road No. 345, more commonly known as the Snake Road, between mile post 3.0 and mile post 5.8. This section of the road will remain closed until Oct. 30. The road is closed seasonally for the protection of migrating snakes and amphibians as they make the seasonal journey from their summer swamp habitats to their winter hibernation areas.
Some of these species have been identified as threatened and endangered by both the state of Illinois and the U.S. Forest Service. By closing the road added protection is provided to help ensure the reptile’s safe crossing during this critical time of migration. Though the road is closed to vehicular traffic, the ability to travel to the migration area by foot is available.
The gradual, two-month migration event has attracted people from across the country eager to witness the rich diversity of reptile and amphibian species along this single stretch of road.
For more information about the snake migration and/or the LaRue-Pine Hills Ecological Area, please contact the Shawnee National Forest office in Jonesboro, Illinois at (618) 833-8576.