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Snake Road

This Oct. 3, 2017 file photo shows Snake Road, a roughly 2.5-mile-long forest service road located in the LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area on the western edge of Shawnee National Forest. It is closed to vehicle traffic twice a year to ensure safe crossing for snakes and amphibians. The southern Illinois road was closed March 15 to allow snakes and amphibians the chance to migrate to their summer homes which can take up to about two months to complete. It attracts people from across the country. The road is scheduled to reopen May 15.

HARRISBURG — A stretch of road in southern Illinois is closed to allow snakes and amphibians the chance to migrate to their summer homes.

The Shawnee National Forest's "snake road" was closed Friday to allow the animals to move from the limestone bluffs where they hibernate during the winter to the nearby LaRue Swamp. The migration attracts spectators from across the country.

The (Carbonale) Southern Illinoisan reports that some of the species are considered threatened or endangered in Illinois. The migration is gradual and takes about two months.

The 2 ½-mile stretch of roadway is often called Snake Road. It's also known as LaRue Road or Forest Service Road. It will be closed until May 15 to vehicle traffic, but foot traffic is welcome.

Contact Roger Miller at (309) 820-3233. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_rmiller

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