Just north of Wolf Lake you will find Snake Road; the name says it all. The road is flanked by 350-foot tall bluffs on the east side and flatland swamps on the west. Snakes like to hibernate in the bluffs during the winter, but in the summer they feed in the swamps. This provides the answer to the age-old question, “Why did the snake cross the road?” During the spring nearly 35 species of snakes — and other reptiles and amphibians — migrate across the road to reach their summer habitats.
A two-and-a-half mile stretch of the Snake Road (also called LaRue Road or Forest Road 345) is closed to traffic from March 15 to May 15 for the snake migration. The road is still open to hiking but don’t expect to see hundreds of snakes wriggling across the road like some kind of bad horror movie. The migration is a slow process that lasts several weeks.
Interested in learning more about snake migration? Head down to Southern Illinois to catch a glimpse of these snakes and explore everything else the area has to offer.
LaRue-Pine Hills Ecological Area features the state’s greatest vegetative diversity. The massive Pine Hills bluff line borders the Big Muddy River and towers 300 feet above the LaRue Swamp. Prehistoric-looking Great Blue Heron soar silently above the swamp waters, hunting fish. In addition, Inspiration Point is a popular spot for viewing panoramic sunsets. The view is gorgeous and you can often see Bald Eagles and other birds of prey flying below.