Snake Safety

A brown copperhead snake lays sunning itself on a pile of leaves.

Learn and Explore

Along with 16 species of non-venomous snakes, there are two species of venomous snakes found in Shenandoah National Park: timber rattlesnakes and copperheads (pictured above). Snakes tend to be elusive, secretive animals, but you may come across one basking in a sun patch on top of a rock or in the middle of a hiking trail. While they won't go out of their way to attack you, you do need to be alert and watch your step. Be careful walking through dead leaves and turning over logs, as snakes can be hidden underneath. Since snakes are active at night, it's also important to use a flashlight or headlamp after dusk. If you do see a snake, leave it alone and give it a wide berth; all animals in the Park are protected by law!

Last updated: August 24, 2020

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Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


(540) 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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