Timber Rattlesnake Sighting Near Timberline
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
July 26, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I spotted a five-foot long Timber Rattlesnake on the Canyon Rim Trail at Blackwater Canyon. I'm happy I did not get bit and even happier that I did not accidentally run over this beautiful animal. Timber Rattlesnakes this big are rare in WV and are now a protected species. Getting bit by one is about as rare as being struck by lightning and they generally will not bite a human unless frightened or cornered. Still, it pays to keep an eye out for these guys, especially when hiking on the slopes at Timberline. I've seen smaller rattlesnakes around my condo, but never one this size. Also, if you spot one, do not kill it. These are protected species!!!
tromano
July 26, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Nice! Did you get a pic? One thing that people seem to forget is the non-agressive nature of all poisonous snakes in this region. You pretty much have to step on one to get bitten. In the high heat of summer days the snakes will be dormant durring the day and only become active at night when its cooler.
Rickh
July 27, 2005
Member since 12/2/2004
130 posts
If you want to see a good pic of a timber rattler go to whitegrasses web site and scroll down a little.
http://www.whitegrass.com/report.html
gatkinso
July 27, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Indeed - they are quite helpful creatures to have about.

Sort of like a hornets nest - a very good thing to have around... to not too close!
Redman
July 29, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004
106 posts
I also encountered a 5+ foot gravid female several years ago during the Revenge of the Rattlesnake mountain bike race out of Davis. I was climbing the Canyon Rim trail and coaxed the girl off the jeep trail before the guys behind me got there. The snake on Chipper's website is not a Timber Rattlesnake...it is a non-venomous Northern Water Snake commonly found near water in the Valley. John, are you sure the smaller rattlesnakes you've seen around your condo are indeed rattlesnakes? I've been hitting the Valley for 20 years and have yet to hear of a rattlesnake sighting around the base at T-line. I've heard of several sightings up on the ridge going into the Sods though. Being a pretty knowledgable herpetologist I am always interested to hear anecdotal herp sightings...especially ones from WV. The Canyon Rim trail is infamous for rattlesnake sightings as there are several den sites on the south facing ridge of Blackwater Canyon.
POWPOW
July 29, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005
124 posts
never run into many snakes in CV but during the revenge of the rattlesnake race in 01 or 02 there were a few pesky bears in the trail that slowed the XXC race in a few places.
TLaHaye
July 29, 2005
Member since 02/9/2005
136 posts
We trapped a small, unknown snake in a coffee can one night. I was concerned, because he was "rattling" like crazy. Took it to the local extension office where they IDd it as a Corn Snake, but commented "Isn't it cute the way it likes to buzz its tail against the side of that coffee can".

We did see a 5 foot Timber Rattler in the Plunge parking lot at Wintergreen last summer. We summoned local attendants who quickly mobilized a couple folks to capture it, and move it to the base of the hill, away from quest areas. It was clear, as quickly as they moved and as efficient as they were at capturing the snake that this was a fairly regular occurance.
SCWVA
July 29, 2005
Member since 07/13/2004
1,049 posts
At the CV series prerace meeting they use to warn you about rattlesnakes on one of the trails just off the Canaan Loop Road. They said that they were required by NF Rangers to warn us about the rattlers.

I saw a rattler while riding in the GWNF. There is a trail that runs along the ridge that seperates WV/VA, just outside of Woodstock, VA.

Redman, While riding with friends do you make them wait for you while you check under rocks and logs for snakes?
Redman
August 1, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004
106 posts
You know it...the blue car hood on the South Run power substation and the 2 tins at the "rest" stop off Henderson. Just don't like to yell SNAKE when drafting down the W&OD...it just causes too much of a pileup. Hehehe! (:^O)>>
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
August 1, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
The snake under my car at T-line had a rattle on it so I assumed it was a rattler.
Redman
August 1, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004
106 posts
Almost all snakes will rattle their tail and when in dry leaves it can sound like a rattlesnake. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone tell me they saw/heard a rattlesnake and when I have then describe the snake it turns out that it wasn't a rattlesnake.
SCWVA
August 11, 2005
Member since 07/13/2004
1,049 posts
Quote:

Redman, While riding with friends do you make them wait for you while you check under rocks and logs for snakes?




Quote:

You know it...




Man, what a pain in the butt you must be. But knowing you, the people you're riding with could probably use the rest.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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