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Thread: Rattlesnakes on Lake George NY

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Rattlesnakes on Lake George NY

    We camped on Turtle #11. I hiked the Tongue Mtn trail on Sunday. It was a sunny, hot day after a cool evening, so I was watching out and actually hoping to see a rattlesnake. It looks PERFECT up there for them ! No sightings of snakes, just an awesome trail and views. On the way out I met a family going up who asked if I had seen any. We had a little conversation. They said "watch out on Turtle !". I said "you think so ?" "We KNOW so, a Ranger removed a nice 3 footer at our request from our site (Turtle 24) yesterday !"

    So here I am on the side of the mountain looking for them while my wife and boys are exploring the island unaware.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Zer0-G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip
    We camped on Turtle #11. I hiked the Tongue Mtn trail on Sunday. It was a sunny, hot day after a cool evening, so I was watching out and actually hoping to see a rattlesnake. It looks PERFECT up there for them ! No sightings of snakes, just an awesome trail and views. On the way out I met a family going up who asked if I had seen any. We had a little conversation. They said "watch out on Turtle !". I said "you think so ?" "We KNOW so, a Ranger removed a nice 3 footer at our request from our site (Turtle 24) yesterday !"

    So here I am on the side of the mountain looking for them while my wife and boys are exploring the island unaware.
    I was lucky enough to hear a Rattlesnake expert speak at the ADK LOJ about three weeks ago. His primary location for studying their behavior and protecting the species is in the southern Adirondacks right by Lake George.

    That is the heart of Rattlesnake country.

    Pretty Cool.

    Zer0-G
    "As I was walking - I saw a sign there
    And the sign read - No tresspassin'
    But on the other side - it didn't say nuthin'
    Now that side was made for you and me!"
    - Woody Guthrie -

  3. #3
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    I am located a few miles north of Tongue Mtn this week...

    One of the local hiking trip leaders said that he has seen 2 this year. He doesn't usually see any.

    Doug

  4. #4
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    I'm not sure of the reason, but it certainly seems like the area around Lake George and the Southern end of Lake Champlain is rattlesnake country.

    It would be interesting to know what factors might be behind this, beyond the obvious availability of sunny ledges and caves. Rattlesnakes are almost never found in the High Peaks region (I have never heard of a report). They are also entirely absent in Glens Falls (where I live).

    But they are common in several areas:

    Tongue Mountain;

    Black Mountain Point (I understand they can swim the lake at the narrows);

    Lake George Islands;

    The South Bay ridge (the ridge East of South Bay Road, North of Fort Ann);

    The Diameter (a rocky slope on the South Bay of Lake Champlain).

    Interestingly, they are rare in the Gunks, which would seem an ideal habitat. The venomous snake common there is the Copperhead.

    TCD

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zer0-G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD
    I'm not sure of the reason, but it certainly seems like the area around Lake George and the Southern end of Lake Champlain is rattlesnake country.

    It would be interesting to know what factors might be behind this, beyond the obvious availability of sunny ledges and caves. Rattlesnakes are almost never found in the High Peaks region (I have never heard of a report). They are also entirely absent in Glens Falls (where I live).

    But they are common in several areas:

    Tongue Mountain;

    Black Mountain Point (I understand they can swim the lake at the narrows);

    Lake George Islands;

    The South Bay ridge (the ridge East of South Bay Road, North of Fort Ann);

    The Diameter (a rocky slope on the South Bay of Lake Champlain).

    Interestingly, they are rare in the Gunks, which would seem an ideal habitat. The venomous snake common there is the Copperhead.

    TCD
    Well,
    I am certainly no expert. But the gentleman that was speaking at the ADK Loj was a very well respected expert in the field. A Full Professor on the subject in some university. Wrote books and has been working with snakes for some 40 plus years.
    I wish I had more details but I and Doodles and Gail were hiking all day and the room was real hot and I found it hard to remember everything he said.

    BUT -

    I do remember a few things.

    There are a few areas in the Northeast where you can find a lot of Timber Rattlesnakes and the Lake George area is one of the Prime locations.

    You won't find any Timber rattlesnakes in the High Peaks. He explained why, but I don't remember. I was probably yawning at the time.

    There are a few Snake dens in the Lake George area. A snake den can house up to 200 to 500 Timber Rattlesnakes. One of the dens he is familiar with has close to 300 Timber Rattlers in it.

    You won't spot them too easily as in the day time they prefer to stay out of sight. Meaning under bushes and especially under rocks where there is room enough for them to slither up under.
    So, watch where you put your hands and feet when you are climbing and walking around.

    I think he said they hibernate in the dens mostly all winter long.

    I guess, one could Google Timber Rattlesnakes ...

    http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/d...ec/tirafs.html
    http://www.esf.edu/PUBPROG/brochure/snakes/snakes.htm

    This was copied from the adk loj Lecture series section of th website.
    This is the guy who gave the talk.

    The Outdoor Experience and Timber Rattlesnakes
    July 22 William Brown
    In late summer, rattlesnakes move often and therefore may come into contact with humans. On a hiking trail on a warm summer day, encountering a rattlesnake is an uncommon but memorable outdoor experience. Tonight ADK welcomes Skidmore College professor William Brown as he discusses these beautiful and shy creatures, common-sense precautions, as well as medical approaches to venomous snakebites.

    Iknow....too much unsolicited information, but if you are interetsed in reading there is plenty out there to read about the timber rattlers.

    Zer0-G
    "As I was walking - I saw a sign there
    And the sign read - No tresspassin'
    But on the other side - it didn't say nuthin'
    Now that side was made for you and me!"
    - Woody Guthrie -

  6. #6
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Timber rattlers are on the endangered list in NH. They used to range from the Mass. border up to the White Mountains. Now there is only one known population left in NH, and their location is not publicized.

  7. #7
    Senior Member moonrock's Avatar
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    Hi All:

    Could not resist: I encountered my first Timber Rattler ever, here in the NC mountains, last Saturday ! A fat four-footer !

    Ten of us (from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) were on a day-long "death-march" from a trailhead (off the Blue Ridge Parkway) past Shining Rock to THE "Cold Mountain" (disclaimer: the movie was filmed in Rumania). Hiked about 21 miles and 4700 ft total uphill. Ouches all around.

    Mid-morning, I was setting pace up front, after some trail confusion (100 ft visibility; dew forming even on our eyelashes !).
    My first thought:
    "Eastern Diamondbacks live near the coast, so that must be a TIMBER Rattler"
    My second thought:
    Stop Walking - NOW !!

    Called our leader Chris C and we photo-opped, while the snake lay along the trail, waiting (in vain) for sun. A tentative stirring of the grass (with my hiking pole) incurred his discontented rattle, feint-strike and equally rapid exit. He continued "buzzing" us from cover, as we carefully skirted past.

    Photo links:
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...80703265UVANce
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...80703265yCNsJC

    They are pretty widespread in NC, but that's the first I've seen, in my 14-years here (as a NYS expatriate). Seen a couple of copperheads - including one in my yard last week.

    BTW: The View from Cold Mountain beats your typical High Peaks View:
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...80703265VWAjOK

    Cheers!
    Moonrock
    http://community.webshots.com/user/anorthosite420

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zer0-G's Avatar
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    Very Nice Pics!!!
    "As I was walking - I saw a sign there
    And the sign read - No tresspassin'
    But on the other side - it didn't say nuthin'
    Now that side was made for you and me!"
    - Woody Guthrie -

  9. #9
    Senior Member ecc's Avatar
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    I saw a rattler on 5th Mt. in the Lake George region three or so years ago. The only time I've ever hiked in the area. Luckily I heard him before I saw him (her?).

    Schenemunck Mt. in Orange County New York is a hot place for rattle snakes. I used to hike there quite often when I lived in Brooklyn and sometimes I woud encounter three or four (not together) on a single hike. That's the place to go if you want to see them.

    ecc

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