Watch your step!

Timber Rattlesnake

It’s that time of year! While it’s not at all common to see a timber rattlesnake, they are out and about in the Smokies. This one was crossing Little River Trail about two miles above Elkmont on Tuesday. As for people who are out in the mountains and streams all the time we usually see about one or two a year. The most ever was three in an entire season.

Our best advice is just don’t mess with them. We saw this one crossing the trail and got close enough for a couple of pictures using the zoom, but that’s it. It paused to see what we were up to, but kept moving and disappeared off the side of the trail.

In our experience they are relatively docile. I literally tripped over one at Tremont about 8 years ago, that started buzzing as it quickly slithered under some boulders and tree roots.

Yeah… You could say I was a little twitchy for at least a week after that, screaming when a twig would brush my leg.

See you tip-toeing along the creeks and trails…


Here’s some great advice from fly fishing expert Hank Patterson for what you should do if you run across a rattler.




  1. What advise would you give to someone if one actually does get bit by a rattlesnake and they are by themselves fishing a pool somewhere off of the Little River Trail?

    • Never known or heard of anyone getting bitten by a timber rattler in the park but it’s very serious. Get to a hospital as soon as possible.