Hikers Beware, Rattlesnake Seen on Popular Richland Trail
The first rattlesnake sighting has been reported in Richland.
According to a Facebook post, the Benton County Parks Department receives reports of one to two rattlesnake sightings a year. This recent sighting was on Badger (Skyline Trail).
This is unusual but not extraordinary. We receive such a report or two in most years. Keep in mind, these snakes want to AVOID humans and human activity, so hanging out on or next to trails is probably not preferred for them. Visitors may also find rattlesnakes at Candy Mountain and Hover, and we have a healthy population at Horn Rapids Park.
When hiking with a dog, please be sure to keep the dog on a leash.
Rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive, however, will strike if provoked or threatened.
What should you do if you see or hear a rattlesnake?
If you encounter a snake while hiking, it's best to back away and wait for it to move away on its own. If you hear the warning rattle, move away quickly. Don't make any sudden movement toward the snake.
What should you do if bitten by a rattlesnake?
The most important thing to do is get to a medical facility as soon as possible. If you can't, call 911 for help. If your dog is bitten, it's important to get them to a veterinary clinic for treatment. The National Poison Control Center number is 800-222-1222.
About 8,000 people are bitten by poisonous snakes a year in the United States.
Of the 8,000 snakebite victims, about 5 result in fatalities.
Do you hike Badger or Candy Mountains often?
Consider wearing high-top hiking boots and long hiking pants. The most common place for a snake to strike is the ankle area.