Tourists from across the country coming to Illinois to see annual snake migration on 'Snake Road'

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) -- A 2 1/2-mile road in the Shawnee National Forest is closing to allow snakes and other amphibians to migrate from the limestone bluffs where they've spent the winter to a nearby swamp.
 
The Southern Illinoisan reports  the stretch known as Snake Road will close to motor vehicle traffic from March 15 to May 15 to ensure safe crossing.
 
The road -- also known as LaRue Road and Forest Service Road No. 345 -- will remain open to foot traffic.
 
People from across the country visit the national forest to see the gradual migration. Many of the species are considered threatened and endangered in Illinois and the U.S.
 
Snake road is west and south of Murphysboro and east of Route 3. If you go there, you might see:
 

  • 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
  • worm snake
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