One of my favorite things to do when the weather warms up is to spend as much time as I can outdoors.

Hiking, camping, I'm all for it.

We're especially fortunate here in Ocean County to have so many places nearby to spend some quality time with nature.

But, did you know that New Jersey is also home to two types of venomous snakes?

Thankfully, New Jersey is nothing like, say, Australia where just about everything can kill you. But the Garden State's pair of resident bad news vipers are nothing to brush off.

First is the northern copperhead.

 

Northern Copperhead (Photo via state.nj.us)

Thankfully, according to Endangered New Jersey, the northern copperhead, "...is one of New Jersey's least common snakes" and they tend to stick around areas to the north of us here in Ocean County.

The same article also points out that copperheads, "...are social snakes", so they tend to hang out together.

If you see one, there could be more. Leave them alone and leave the area.

Next is the timber rattlesnake

Timber rattlesnake
(Photo via state.nj.us)

While the northern copperhead tends to hang out more in the northern part of the state, Endangered New Jersey tells us that timber rattlesnakes like to call the Pine Barrens home.

On a positive side, at least you know when a timber rattlesnake is angry. If you hear that rattle, it's time to get out of there.

So, how do you know if the snake that you just encountered on your hike is a dangerous one?

Well, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, it's not easy:

Distinguishing the two venomous snakes from the non-venomous varieties can take an expert eye, so it’s simply a good idea to always keep a respectable distance from all snakes, Schantz said.

In all, there are almost two dozen different species of snakes in the Garden State.

Only two of them are venomous, but do you really want to take that pop quiz when you come across a snake in your travels?

You can read much more about New Jersey's snakes, and the pair that you have to keep a cautious eye out for, by clicking here.

 

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