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Old 08-05-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
paddlewheel
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Rattlesnakes in the cliffs......

I was kayaking with a friend on South Bay in Washington Co. on Friday and there is an outlet running south out of there called Coldwater Spring Creek. All along the westerly shore are these beautiful cliffs with peregrine falcons and turkey vultures soaring all around. Anyhow I ran into this guy canoe fishing and we got to talking about the cliffs and the falcons etc. and he told me there were timber rattlers up there. In all my travels in the Adk's. I have never come across any of these snakes. (which is probably a real positive thing) Has anyone out there ever had an encounter? I always thought it was just a little folklore about rattlers in the ADK'S. I heard the story once about when they were building the Northway back in the 60's and while dynamiting by Lake George they stirred up a bunch of them.........paddlewheel...
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:13 PM   #2
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They are rare and protected by law in the Adirondacks. The most famous place they occur in the adirondacks is the Tongue mountain penninsula on Lake George. I dont know of anywhere else, but I wouldnt be surprised if other south facing mountain faces have some.

I've never seen one.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #3
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[I][COLOR="Blue"]... I always thought it was just a little folklore about rattlers in the ADK'S.
Here's a fact sheet from the NYSDEC.

"Populations were once found on Long Island and in most mountainous and hilly areas of New York State, except in the higher elevations of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Tug Hill region. They are now found in isolated populations in southeastern New York, the Southern Tier and in the peripheral eastern Adirondacks."
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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I saw one on the Tongue Mt. range once about 15 years ago. Scared the heck out of me, and I haven't been back on that trail since.

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Old 08-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #5
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I've only seen two in NY. None in the Adirondacks despite spending time on the Tongue Mtn range and keeping an eye out for them.

The two I saw were in Sullivan county. One while out blueberrry picking and the other while trout fishing.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:20 PM   #6
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I saw one ...

... back in the 1970's on Tongue Mountain. There are supposed to be some along the Delaware River system in the Western Catskills, but I have never seen one there even though I spend as much as 40 days per year fishing in that area.

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Old 08-06-2008, 10:28 AM   #7
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A little further down the page... http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=9041
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:10 PM   #8
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Timber rattlers are there thats for sure. I seen two in the hands of the herbatologist that works out of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute in Bolton Landing. They have been seen on the islands in Lake George. They get relocated if reported. Every once in a while you read some one has gotten bitten trying to remove them from there yard in the spring. I think they are also over near Round, Lily, Buttermilk ponds near Brant lake. I can not verify my sighting but I would think being in the close proximity to Tongue Mt. what I saw swimming was a timber rattler. Mt friends have seen a pair at the old chimney fireplace at Jabe Pond. A couple of weeks ago another friend thought he saw one on the east shore of Lake George. When in those areas be on the look out.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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Walked up on one in Harriman State Park last year with my Boy Scouts.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:29 PM   #10
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Here is a video someone took of a Timber Rattler in Essex County
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu7qsrar_vk
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:32 PM   #11
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Rattlers

I saw a huge one on Lookout Mountain in the Catskills near Echo Lake a few years ago. I keep hearing the Tongue Mts have them, but I just backpacked there this weekend and saw none.

Oddly enough there is a thriving population of rattlesnakes in NJ. I've seen half a dozen over the past few years in the Ramapo Mtns.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:11 AM   #12
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New Jersey has mountains?
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:03 PM   #13
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New Jersey has mountains?

Depends on the angle ya look at 'em!


Never seen rattlers in western Jersey, but plenty of copperheads!
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:59 PM   #14
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To the question in the OP, yes, they are common in the South Bay area, near Fort Ann. The ridge extending south along the east side of South Bay Road is known to have rattlers; locals have to deal with them occasionally on their farms and properties. The Diameter (a cliffy mountain on South Bay itself) is said to be well populated with them.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:30 PM   #15
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I have found skin sheds on the old shelving rock trail that leads to Black Mountains base. I hike the Tongue mountain range in the spring during mud season and occasionally the fall. I actually went last Thursday, didn't see any. The Tongue range to me might be one of the best trails in the Adirondacks so I'll take my chances and just stay alert. I have done the full loop probably 8 times and bushwhacked across it once just in the last 4 years and never saw any. It is not that it is just south facing, every mountain has a south face. The whole ridge has beautiful open hardwoods and scrub pine, dry soil and lots of lose rocky cliffs. Not to mention is loaded with nut trees and you can't go more than 50 feet without running into a chipmunk supplying them with a vast food source and perfect den and sunning areas.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:20 PM   #16
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According to the DEC Herp Atlas, (which involved hundreds of surveyors for several years) the Timber Rattler can be found here:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/44641.html

Eastern Massasauga can be found here:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/44643.html

I worked on that survey, but, LOL, never found any rattlers.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:02 AM   #17
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I came accross this one on the trail near Tongue Mountain lean-to while geocaching there in August of 2007. He never even warned me, I almost stepped on him. He wouldn't move off the trail and after seeing him I was affraid to get off the trail to go around. He only rattled after I touched him with my hiking pole. He didn't make a move toward me though, just moved off the trail and coiled up so I could pass.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:00 AM   #18
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I came accross this one on the trail near Tongue Mountain lean-to while geocaching there in August of 2007.
That's what I call a "Fatty".
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:30 PM   #19
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He only rattled after I touched him with my hiking pole. He didn't make a move toward me though, just moved off the trail and coiled up so I could pass.
That sounds like a great idea, poking it with your trekking pole. haha
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:44 PM   #20
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Touched, not poked. We were both very calm about the whole thing. All the reports I've ever read about them stated that they were not aggresssive. I can now say "in my experiece, they are not"
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