Determining which rivers in Pennsylvania are the most snake-infested can be difficult. These creatures are elusive and the rivers they inhabit are intricate. However, several rivers in Pennsylvania are known to host a wide variety of snake species. Today, we’ll be exploring eight of these rivers and the unique ecosystems they support. We’ll take in the beauty of Pennsylvania’s rivers and get to know the amazing creatures that call them home!
1. Lehigh River
The Lehigh River is a 109-mile-long tributary of the Delaware River in Eastern Pennsylvania. It flows in a generally southward pattern from the Pocono Mountains, through Carbon, Luzerne, and Lehigh counties. The river then empties into the Delaware River in Easton, Pennsylvania.
The Lehigh River is a popular destination for recreational activities. Visitors enjoy whitewater rafting, fishing, and hiking. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife including bald eagles, river otters, and many fish species. Recently, the Lehigh River has been listed as endangered due to negative impacts of warehouse development. The health of its ecosystem is at risk.
Several snake species can be found in and around the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania. Some of the common snake species include the northern copperhead, timber rattlesnake, and eastern garter snake. Copperheads and rattlesnakes are venomous and found in rocky or forested areas near the river. Garter snakes are non-venomous and can be found in a variety of habitats near the river’s banks.
2. Schuylkill River
The Schuylkill River runs northwest to southeast in Eastern Pennsylvania. It rises in Eastern Schuylkill County in an anthracite-coal region. It then receives the Little Schuylkill River, while flowing through the Appalachian Mountains. The river continues to flow through Valley Forge and the city of Philadelphia, before emptying into the Delaware River.
The Schuylkill River provides drinking water to more than 1.5 million people. It is also an important source of recreation, with the Schuylkill River Trail providing a 120-mile multi-use path. Residents use the trail for cycling, walking, and running.
Several snake species can be found in and around the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania. Some of the common snake species are the eastern garter snake, northern copperhead, and timber rattlesnake.
Garter snakes are non-venomous. However, copperheads and rattlesnakes are venomous and live in rocky or forested areas near the river. As with all wild animals, it’s important to exercise caution and keep a safe distance when encountering snakes.
3. Susquehanna River
The Susquehanna River is a major river that flows through Pennsylvania. It is the longest river on the East Coast of the United States. It stretches for 444 miles (715 km) from upstate New York to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Along the way, it passes through the Susquehanna River Valley in central Pennsylvania, where it is an important source of water. The river is also a popular destination for recreational activities like fishing, boating, and kayaking.
Several species reside in and around the Susquehanna River, including the northern water snake and the timber rattlesnake. The northern water snake is one of the most common species in the region. It is often seen near slow-moving or standing water, such as ponds and lakes.
The venomous timber rattlesnake, on the other hand, resides in Western Maryland and the Susquehanna River Valley. As with any wild animal, it’s important to observe snakes from a safe distance and avoid approaching or handling them.
4. Potomac River
While the Potomac River does not flow through Pennsylvania, it forms a portion of the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. The river originates in West Virginia and flows for 405 miles (652 km) before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac River Basin encompasses parts of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Some of its tributaries, such as Wills Creek, flow into Pennsylvania.
A variety of snakes hang around the Potomac River watershed. They include the eastern smooth earth snake, mountain earth snake, and northern water snake. The latter, in particular, is common due to its preference for slow-moving or standing water.
5. Ohio River
While the Ohio River is not entirely located within Pennsylvania, it does form part of Pennsylvania’s western border with Ohio, and the city of Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of its two main tributaries, the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. The Ohio River is 981 miles long, flowing through or bordering six states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. The Ohio River is an important commercial waterway and an important source of drinking water for millions of people. Some fish species living in the Ohio River include blue catfish, largemouth bass, and channel catfish.
Several species of snakes live in and around the Ohio River. Common species are the northern water snake, ribbon snake, and copper-bellied water snake. These species prefer wetland habitats, such as marshes and ponds, and can also be near the river’s banks. While it’s important to exercise caution around wild animals, including snakes, these species are generally non-venomous and pose little threat to humans.
6. Allegheny River
The Allegheny River is a 325-mile-long (523 km) river located in Western Pennsylvania and New York. The river is a headwater stream of the Ohio River and contributes 60 percent of the Ohio River flow in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny River is an important commercial waterway, recreational resource, and habitat for a wide variety of fish and wildlife.
Some fish species found in the Allegheny River include smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge. Additionally, there are several camping sites and trails in the area, including the Allegheny River Campground and the Middle Allegheny River Water Trail.
Many snakes slither around the Allegheny River, like the northern water snake and the northern rough greensnake, both of which are semi-aquatic and are often near the river’s banks. Other snake species in the region include the eastern garter snake and the eastern milk snake.
7. Clarion River
The Clarion River is a tributary of the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, spanning 110 miles through the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region. The river has a meandering path through narrow valleys and hardwood forests and is a popular spot for camping, canoeing, and other outdoor activities. The Allegheny National Forest has several campsites and public access sites along the Clarion River, making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore Pennsylvania’s natural beauty.
The Clarion River is home to several species of snake, including the northern black racer, timber rattlesnake, and northern ring-necked snake. While the timber rattlesnake is the only one that is venomous, people should be cautious. Observe snakes from a safe distance. The Clarion River is a beautiful destination for those interested in exploring Pennsylvania’s natural beauty and wildlife.
8. Delaware River
The Delaware River runs along the eastern edge of Pennsylvania, forming part of the state’s boundary with New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. It stretches over 330 miles and has numerous tributaries, including the Schuylkill River and Lehigh River. The Delaware River is an important source of drinking water for millions of people, as well as a popular destination for recreational activities like fishing, boating, and hiking. The Delaware River Basin Commission is responsible for managing and protecting the river and its watershed, which covers parts of four states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware.
Several snake species are around the Delaware River, like the common northern water snake, eastern garter snake, and eastern copperhead.
The non-venomous species use a variety of habitats near the river, while copperheads occupy rocky or forested areas.
In conclusion, Pennsylvania’s rivers, such as the Lehigh River, Schuylkill River, and the Delaware River, are home to a variety of snake species. While some snakes found in these rivers are venomous, they generally try to avoid human contact, and it’s important to exercise caution when encountering any wild animals, including snakes. It’s recommended that people observe snakes from a safe distance and avoid attempting to handle them. With proper awareness and respect for these creatures, we can coexist with them in their natural habitats and appreciate their important role in the ecosystem.
Summary of The Most Snake-Infested Rivers in Pennsylvania
|Type of Snakes Found
|northern copperhead, timber rattlesnake, and eastern garter snake
|eastern garter snake, northern copperhead, and timber rattlesnake
|northern water snake and the timber rattlesnake
|eastern smooth earth snake, mountain earth snake, and northern water snake
|northern water snake, ribbon snake, and copper-bellied water snake
|northern water snake, northern rough green snake, eastern garter snake, and the eastern milk snake
|northern black racer, timber rattlesnake, and northern ring-necked snake
|common northern water snake, eastern garter snake, and eastern copperhead
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jayce Wyatt Photography/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.