Snake Road (aka Larue Rd) is located in SW Illinois and is the only migration route in the world for reptiles and amphibians. It is closed to vehicles twice a year in the spring (March 15th to May 15th), when they come out of hibernation, and in the fall (September 1st to October 30th) when they enter into hibernation.
Snake Road lying in the middle of the woods with cliffs on one side, where the herps hibernate, and Larue Swamp on the other side, where they mate and hunt. About 66 percent of the amphibians and 59 percent of the reptiles known to occur in Illinois are found here (approximately 35 species of snakes). Approximately 90 percent of the Illinois mammal species and 173 bird species inhabit the RNA. It is an important resting area for migratory birds and waterfowl. Some unusual animals and birds that make LaRue-Pine Hills their home include the bobcat, bald eagle, spring cavefish, eastern woodrat, golden mouse, Mississippi kite, and indigo bunting. Consequently, the Forest Service decided to close a 2.5-mile segment of the road during the seasonal migration to protect the reptiles and amphibians.
The most common snake on snake road is the cottonmouth, due to the swampy area. Other snakes commonly seen are gartersnakes, eastern ratsnakes, diamondback watersnakes, ribbon snakes, milksnakes, black racers, and ring-necked snakes. Copperheads, timber rattlers, eastern hognosed snakes, mud snakes, rough green snakes, and earth snakes can be seen as well. Various frogs, salamanders, turtles, and skinks/lizards also populate the area and use the smae migratory route and areas to hibernate.