Illinois road shut down for massive snake migration — and some are venomous

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Wildlife authorities in Illinois have shut down a two-mile stretch of road to vehicles through late October due to a yearly snake migration.

The U.S. Forest Service said Forest Road #345 – also known as "Snake Road" – in the Shawnee National Forest was closed to vehicles starting September 1st and will remain closed through October 30th. It’s also closed every year for a short time in the Spring.

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The snakes migrate from LaRue Swamp to the nearby limestone bluffs, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Some of the snakes and amphibians are considered threatened and endangered in the Prairie State and closing the road helps them cross safely.

While vehicles are not allowed on the road, it will remain open to people traveling on foot – though it’s unclear how many visitors the area gets this time of year.

USDA says Snake Road is home to 23 species of snakes, some of which are venomous including rattlers and copperheads, and one of the few places in North America where so many can be seen in one geographical location.