State parks cautioning hikers to watch for rattlesnakes on trails

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Friday, July 28, 2023
Rattlesnake warning issued for hikers on state park trails
Watch out for rattlesnakes on the trails and remember they blend easily into their surroundings.

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- Summer is driving people to prime locations like Crystal Cove State Park to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

However, California State Parks wants to remind visitors that they're sharing the trails and backcountry with animals that can pose a danger to humans.

"Rattlesnakes, they are a unique animal in that they want to be left alone," said Lt. Paul Andrus with the state agency.

He said the coldblooded snakes are most active in the middle of the day when it's hot outside.

"We ask all park visitors to just watch where they're walking, to keep their eyes on the trail while they're walking and if they do see any animals like rattlesnakes to give them their space and know that this is their home," Andrus said.

Also, he said rattlesnakes camouflage easily into their surroundings so they urge people to pay attention.

"Because this is their natural habitat we do allow the snakes to be in their space but if they are causing a specific significant public safety issue near a restroom or something like that we'll relocate them to a different part of the backcountry," he said.

So far this summer hikers have reported close encounters with the snakes on the trails.

"For the most part people have given their fair respect to the wildlife and given them some space," Andrus said. "We haven't had any rattlesnake bites or anything like that in the parks. So we just continue to ask folks to enjoy the nature, take pictures but not to get too close."

If you do spot a rattlesnake, notify other hikers so they can keep their distance as well.