6 Snakes You May Encounter Mountaineering the Appalachian Path

The Appalachian Path spans greater than 2,100 miles of lovely wildland, however with it comes wildlife. The path itself is house to all kinds of creatures, together with snakes. Right here’s what to search for and the right way to react.

Earlier than you head out for a hike, it’s essential to know what snakes you’re more likely to see, what they seem like, and the right way to safely navigate an encounter.

In case you are excited about taking up the Appalachian Path, this text will put together you for the snakes you might encounter alongside the way in which. Whereas not all snakes you may see are venomous, some are.

So, learn on to know what you’re on the lookout for on the path, and the right way to deal with a slithery scenario.

Appalachian Path: 6 Snakes You Might Encounter

1. Copperhead

(Picture/Nigel Robert)

The Japanese copperhead may be discovered throughout the East Coast in states like Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. As you progress northward on the Appalachian Path, you might even contact the Northern Copperhead in states like New York.

This snake is coppery-brown in coloration with distinct “Hershey’s kiss” brown patterning on its sides. If encountered, it’ll usually freeze and depend on its camouflage to stay unseen when threatened.

This is usually a drawback, as Copperheads are one among two forms of venomous snakes on the Appalachian Path. Preserve a cautious eye on the place you’re placing your ft to keep away from these snakes.

For those who come throughout one on the path, again away slowly and be sure you are at the very least 6-10 ft away from the snake always.

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2. Garter Snakes

Garter Snakes

Alongside the path, it is extremely straightforward to return throughout Japanese Garter Snakes. These snakes are recognized by a brown, inexperienced, or grey physique coloration with a yellow or cream-colored stripe down the center of their again, and a checkered sample on their sides.

These snakes are widespread alongside the East Coast, particularly in states like Virginia. They’re a docile species which might be thought-about technically venomous, however aren’t harmful to people.

For those who come throughout this species on the path, you may go away them alone or, in the event you really feel extra assured dealing with snakes, gently transfer them out of your path.

3. Japanese Rat Snakes

Eastern Rat Snake
(Picture/Nigel Robert)

These giant snakes can develop between 3.5 to 7 ft lengthy and are also referred to as Western Rat Snakes or Black Rat Snakes. They’re usually black in coloration with a white or cream underbelly.

They’re nonvenomous; nonetheless, they’re recognized to emit a foul order and vibrate their tails to imitate rattlesnakes when threatened.

You possibly can see this snake alongside the path in states like Georgia.

For those who occur to return throughout this species, it is going to be greatest to go away them alone. Whereas not harmful, their chew can pack a punch and the pungent musk can cling to your garments.

4. Japanese Hognose

Eastern Hognose

The Japanese Hognose is an enchanting species that you’ll seemingly encounter alongside the path in North Carolina, Georgia, and whilst far north as New Hampshire.

They arrive in a wide range of colours like grey, orange, and brown, and they are often plain or patterned. The one constant figuring out attribute is their upturned nostril that gave them their identify.

These snakes can rise up to three ft lengthy. They are going to flare their head like a cobra after which play useless when threatened. That is one other species that’s technically venomous however not harmful to people.

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For those who come throughout an Japanese Hognose on the Appalachian Path, you must go away it alone, in order to not induce stress on the snake. However you needn’t fear about your security.

5. Ringneck Snake

(Picture/Nigel Robert)

These small snakes are often brown, olive, black, and even blue-gray in coloration with a yellow, crimson, or orange neckband and underbelly.

They’re often now not than 15 inches and between the Japanese and Southern species, may be present in each state alongside the East Coast.

These snakes are small, docile, and might simply be picked up and moved if needed. They’re nonvenomous and pose no risk to people.

They hardly ever even chew when dealt with, so in the event you go away these snakes alone on the path, they won’t trouble you.

6. Rattlesnakes


The second venomous snake you might encounter on the path is the rattlesnake. Particularly, there are 4 forms of rattlesnakes that inhabit areas close to the Appalachian Path.

Timber Rattlesnakes may be discovered alongside all the East Coast, whereas Pygmy Rattlesnakes and Japanese Diamondbacks may be seen in North Carolina and Georgia. Lastly, the Japanese Massasauga may be seen as far north as New York.

These snakes have totally different colours and patterns however may be recognized by the attribute rattle on their tail. They are going to shake their tail and produce a loud rattling sound when threatened.

As a result of they’re venomous, they need to all the time be left alone when seen on the path. Attempt to look forward to them to go away the realm, or cross by at a secure distance as an alternative of attempting to maneuver them.


Are There Venomous Snakes on the Appalachian Path?

There are solely two forms of venomous snakes you might come throughout on the Appalachian Path and round six complete species: the Japanese and Northern Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, Japanese Diamondback, Pygmy Rattlesnake, and the Japanese Massasauga.

When Ought to I Hike to Keep away from Snakes?

If you wish to keep away from snakes, the most effective factor you are able to do is hike when it’s chilly. Snakes are often much less lively in the course of the chilly fall and winter months.

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As a result of snakes have to heat their our bodies by the solar, they are going to be most lively in the course of the heat occasions of the yr. So, if you wish to keep away from snakes on the path, exit when it’s chilly.

What Ought to You Do If You Run Right into a Snake on a Path?

In case you are climbing the Appalachian Path and are available throughout a snake, the most secure factor you are able to do is go away it alone. There may be all the time an opportunity you might come throughout a harmful species on the path.

For those who aren’t assured in your identification abilities, all the time deal with the snake as whether it is venomous and go away or not it’s. Do you have to discover a snake, freeze and slowly again away till you’re at the very least 6-10 ft away from the snake. As soon as at a secure distance, you may look forward to the snake to go away or discover a approach round it safely.


The snakes that decision the Appalachian Path house shouldn’t discourage you from climbing there your self. Whereas there are venomous species that may be discovered, there are additionally loads of innocent species. Realizing which snakes are widespread and what to do in the event you discover one is step one to a enjoyable, secure hike.

Nigel Robert is a lifelong reptile lover, biologist, and wildlife advisor. He has stored many reptile species together with Leopard Geckos and Ball Pythons and has had a whole bunch of encounters with wild species. His purpose is to offer reliable and complete recommendation to anybody who might encounter wild or pet reptiles.