On March 15, 2013, the Shawnee National Forest will temporarily close LaRue Road #345 (also known as the Snake Road) between mile post 3.0 and mile post 5.8. This section of the road will remain closed until May 15, 2013. The road is closed seasonally for the protection of migrating snakes and amphibians as they migrate from their winter hibernation habitats to their summer swamp habitats. 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, this helps to ensure the reptile’s safe crossing during this critical time of migration. This gradual, two-month migration event has attracted people from across the country to witness the rich diversity of reptile and amphibian species along this single stretch of road. For more information about the snake migration and LaRue-Pine Hills Ecological Area, please contact the Shawnee National Forest office in Jonesboro, Illinois at (618) 833-8576.
Administered by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the Shawnee National Forest is one of 155 national forests nationwide. As the only national forest in Illinois, the Shawnee offers numerous avenues for connecting with the natural world through its 280,000 acres of varied landscape. Whether your interests lie more in outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking or camping, or include learning about the unique natural and cultural heritage of southern Illinois, the fields, forests and streams of the Shawnee welcome you. To discover more about the Shawnee National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/shawnee and follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/shawnee. National information about the U.S. Forest Service can be found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/.