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 #2105659


TheDream
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 Herping in VA

I recently just moved to Maryland from Ohio. My brother and I have been herping for about a year now and plan to take a day trip to VA and look for copperheads and Timbers.

I was told to look along the Blue Ridge Mountain area however I needed a good atrting point in VA. We would like to go out during the day in June/ July and see what we can find.

Does anyone know of a good place to start, backroads, etc?

Thanks in adavnce -Pat-



12/16/09  04:42pm

 #2107596


JEFF QUARLES
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  Message To: TheDream   In reference to Message Id: 2105659


 Herping in VA

I’m from VA and Luray is a great area for both species you want. The best way to find them both in one night is to ride the Parkway at night. We drive it every weekend in the Summer and see so many Timbers and Coppers that it becomes somewhat boring. You can get on the Parkwayat several points so check your map for the closet spot to you.



12/23/09  05:31pm

 #2138860


TheDream
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  Message To: JEFF QUARLES   In reference to Message Id: 2107596


 Herping in VA

Thanks for the help Jeff. Well the warm weather is upon us and its almost that time that we head out into nature and see what we can find.

As noted above I am going to take a day trip to Luray and know how to get on the Blue Ridge at various points. What I am wondering is if there are places that I could walk, hike, etc and look for herps in thsi area. Last summer I enjoyed hiking and looking for spots rather than just driving.

I would like to find some spots during the day I could check out around Luray and then drive the parkway at night. Any ideas? Email is best as I don’t want locations to be given away to the overall general public. Thanks all



04/06/10  04:31pm

 #2138870


JEFF QUARLES
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  Message To: TheDream   In reference to Message Id: 2138860


 Herping in VA

There are zillions of places to hike from one end of the parkway to the other. I would suggest finding some old roads ajacent to the parkway where you might find some barns, old beat down house ect. That is the best way to find King snakes, copperheads and timbers during th day..



04/06/10  05:26pm

 #2139010


TheDream
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  Message To: JEFF QUARLES   In reference to Message Id: 2138870


 Herping in VA

Hey Jeff, thanks for the info.

I was checking some sites and from where I am in Washington D.C. evidently the closest place to start my trip is in Front Royal at the beginning of Skyline Drive. Is this how you guys access the parkway? From what I have read the northern most entrance of the parkway is in Waynesboro.

I’m confused as to whether or not I need to start at Skyline and go from there. I’m not sure where I would go if I went into Luray.



04/07/10  10:26am

 #2141163


JEFF QUARLES
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  Message To: TheDream   In reference to Message Id: 2139010


 Herping in VA

Yes, that is how we do it, plus it’s awesome for Rattlers and King snakes, copperheads and Milks..



04/16/10  07:06pm

 #2143495


TheDream
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  Message To: JEFF QUARLES   In reference to Message Id: 2141163


 Herping in VA

Hey Jeff, thanks for the advice!

I went on a scouting trip yesterday to check out Skyline Drive. There is a ton of Rocy Terrain and some great looking areas for snakes. I know its still early and we didn’t see anything walking around however we cam across some rat snakes and garters and an unidentified snakes that slithered into the grass before I could take a look at it. We were able to see these snakes road cruising on the way back, when it got dark, on the pavement. For a half assed scouting trip and for it being still a bit early....it was a successful trip in my eyes.

I hope to see some more species as the weather gets warmer and when we get a chance to make it to Blue Ridge.



04/26/10  10:10am

 #2143498


JEFF QUARLES
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  Message To: TheDream   In reference to Message Id: 2143495


 Herping in VA

Good deal and try again in May when the males are all out looking for the girls..



04/26/10  10:50am

 #2145052


TheDream
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  Message To: JEFF QUARLES   In reference to Message Id: 2143498


 Herping in VA

Wow what a weekend; for all those who don’t know I am about 45 minutes from Front Royal where you can get on Skyline Drive and head south towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. Well Saturday I decided to head out and travel the drive and a good portion of Blue Ridge before turning around and traveling both the parkway and the drive at night. During the day we scouted some spots along the drive to possibly field herp (very rocky terrain) some good looking areas but I feel its probably better if you ahve a few guys or gals along to cover more area.

I was able to find a queen snake under some debris on the side of the parkway and then a few miles down; a timber rattlesnake DOR......this was the first I have ever seen in the wild but unfortunately I was a little late as from the looks of things, a motorcycle had hit it. This was all I really found during the day, however I didn’t really expect to find anything during the day.

We ended up in Roanoke, VA where we had dinner and waited until around 8:15 to head back on the parkway. We had about 200 miles back to Front Royal to cover.

We found 2 Black rat snakes, a three foot milk snake, and 2 copperheads which were DOR (also a first for me to see in the wild) This was all we saw on the 100 mile stretch back on the Parkway. I feel its still a little early yet.

On Skyline Drive we found 2 more copperheads, 1 DOR and 1 was alive! I know to some people they see these on a regualr basis, but for me it was very exciting to finally see one!

All in all, not too many snakes on the road yet anyway, however I considered this trip a success as I got to see a few diff. kinds. The timber and copperhead were worth the trip, however I hope to see a few more live rather than dead. Especially to see a live timber.

I couldn’t ask for better weather and although we got home around 4:00 a.m. I had a great time and look forward to more trips.



05/03/10  10:26am

 #2146264


JEFF QUARLES
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  Message To: TheDream   In reference to Message Id: 2145052


 Herping in VA

That’s great and Im glad you found some stuff. Keep going out there because you will see so many more types of snakes....especially this month where the males are out looking for girls..



05/09/10  12:49pm

 #2159554


Komodo Wasabi
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  Message To: TheDream   In reference to Message Id: 2145052


 Herping in VA

A few GREAT places for going herping in Virginia would be anywhere in George Washington National Park, Jefferson National park, Shenendoah National Park, right there in Front Royal, around Luray, Cumberland State Forest, and ESPECIALLY in Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, these are just a few places to go to in VA. Trust me I live in Charlottesville.



06/30/10  03:35am

 #2230015


Woodfrog99
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  Message To: Komodo Wasabi   In reference to Message Id: 2159554


 Herping in VA

I know it’s way past your traveling plans, but for future endeavors: I used to be an environmental education ranger for VA state parks. One of my favorite herp excursions is up Mt. Rogers. It’s the highest point in VA and not only has ALL the aforementioned snakes, but more amphibian species density than almost anywhere else outside the rain forests. I’ve added 22 species of salamanders to my life list from that mountain alone. There’s even sub-speciation at 1000 ft elevation bands. It’s pretty amazing! If your’re down toward Roanoke again it’s only another hour and a half and there are 2 great state parks to visit also. Just a suggestion. Good luck herping!



07/21/11  06:03pm


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