Table of Contents

Do Snakes Come Out At Night In Florida?

Professional Snake Removal Services

You have probably heard the rumor that snakes come out at night in Florida. It is a common question, with lots of different answers. If you are living in Florida and want to know for sure whether or not it is true, then keep on reading!

We will go over some facts about snakes and answer your question if they do come out at night in Florida.

Are Snakes Active At Night?

Some snakes are nocturnal creatures, meaning they typically hunt and move around at night. However, this does not mean that snakes do not come out during the daytime! Some Florida snakes are active during the day and at night so be aware when you are outdoors in grassy places with plenty of vegetation.

A lot of snakes are most active at night, but there can be exceptions. All snakes will want to find shelter from the heat during the day, so again, be careful when you walk around.

During the summer, snakes will be more active early in the morning and late in the evening when the temperatures are cooler to come out. For example, cottonmouths or rattlesnakes actually prefer hunting at night.

Florida has many types of snakes and they come out at night because they are nocturnal.

What Kind Of Snakes Come Out At Night In Florida?

There are many different types of snakes that might come out at night in Florida. The most common snakes are the Eastern Coachwhip, Southern Black Racer, Coral Snakes, and Cottonmouths.

In order to identify a snake at night, you need to learn what they look like during the day.

Eastern Coachwhips are about 3 feet long with brown or black stripes on their body. They also have a tan or brown coloration with a white underbelly. They’re active mostly during the day and are non-venomous. Besides, they’re very agile and fast, and have great eyesight that allows them to be active at night as well.

Southern Black Racers are about 4 feet long and have a black or brown body with yellow stripes on their back, head, and tail. They also have an orange belly that looks like it is inside out. They’re Florida’s most common snake species, are non-venomous and very speedy.

Coral Snakes are about 2 feet long and have a yellow, black or red body with beautiful patterns and an orange belly. Even though they’re quite timid, they’re one of the highly venomous species in Florida.

Cottonmouths are often mistaken for non-venomous water snakes. They are about 2 to 3 feet long with a dark olive or light brown body, triangular head, catlike vertical pupils, and white mouth area that looks like an open cotton ball. They’re highly venomous and should be avoided at all costs.

Cottonmouth snake

Where Do Snakes Go At Night?

The idea that snakes get into the bathroom at night is a myth. Snakes are cold-blooded, and they can’t produce their own body heat so they need to find warmth during the day in order to survive.

When it’s nighttime, snakes will typically stay in hiding because predators are out hunting for them. They may also be found under logs or other covered objects where they can stay warm and safe.

On some occasions, a snake may come out at night if it’s hungry and needs to find food. If the snake is nocturnal, it can be found hunting throughout the evening or during a large portion of the night. It will have excellent vision in low light conditions, which is why you might see them coming out at dusk after sunset when it becomes dark outside.

Do Snakes Get Into Houses At Night?

Snakes are not typically found in houses. If you see a snake, it is most likely outside and just passing through.

The only time snakes might get into your house is if they were looking for a nice safe and warm place to hibernate during the winter months.

To prevent snakes from getting into your house, keep doors and windows closed, and keep your yard clean of debris. Trim overgrown bushes and plants, which provide snakes with the cover they can hide in.

Garter snake

When Do Snakes Sleep?

You might be wondering whether snakes sleep at all. Snakes do not sleep in the same way humans or other mammals sleep, but they can experience a form of slumber.

They don’t have eyelids, so they always have their eyes open. They sleep by turning around themselves into a ball shape and tucking inside their mouth to protect themselves from predators. When they do this their muscles around them relax which is how snakes are able to stay so still for such long periods of time.

The word “sleep” can be confusing because if you don’t have eyelids, you might not know that you’re sleeping. But it is hard to tell for sure if a snake is asleep without looking at the snake’s eyes.

In the evening, snakes may go into a state of lethargy which is when their body slows down and becomes very cold so that it doesn’t use up their energy stores too quickly while resting in cool temperatures. This helps them because at night there is less prey available and snakes need less energy to stay alive.

Different snakes experience different periods of sleep which is related to how active or inactive their lifestyle may be during the day. When a snake has been in an area where there are lots of food sources then they will find themselves sleeping less than other snakes who live in less active areas where they don’t have to hunt for food as often.

Read Post  How Should A Hiking Backpack Fit? (Read This First! )

Final Words,

Snake presence on your property can be a quite disturbing event and I’m sure most of you don’t like the idea of sharing your space with slithery reptiles, even though they are beneficial to Florida’s ecosystem.

Luckily, there are options for snake removal and control. Working with a reliable pest and wildlife removal company such as Wildlife Troopers is your best solution. So, if you need snake removal services for your home or business, contact us today!

Snakes on a Trail

One week, three venomous snakes, and many harmless ones: all encountered on our early morning bike rides along paved trails on cool mornings.

September 25, 2020 John Keatley

While updating our trail information about bike paths in our region, we’ve been heading out to ride various trail segments within an easy drive of home.

Over the past week, we’ve focused on Volusia County. It’s been a wet season and there is water often standing on both sides of the trail.

John riding past a Mile 0 sign on the ECRRT

Riding into East Volusia on the Florida Coast to Coast Trail

Just south of Maytown on the Coast to Coast Trail we came across a pretty good sized water moccasin on the trail.

Sprawled out as if it was following prey, it was off to one side. We rode by carefully and quickly.

John photographing a tiny snake while biking past a mile marker sign

Spotting a ring-necked snake north of where we saw the moccasin

A few days later, along the East Coast Greenway not too far north of the Maytown junction, we rode around a snake stretched out on the trail.

As we got close, it was obvious it was a pygmy rattler.

John riding along a tree lined bike path

We saw the pygmy rattler in this stretch north of Maytown

Yesterday, we took on another piece of the Coast to Coast Trail west of Farmton to finish our updates on the East Central Regional Rail Trail route.

We started at the Osteen Civic Center trailhead off SR 415 just under the big bridge and rode east to Guise Rd, where the trail currently ends.

Bench and trash can near trail curve

Along the ECRRT just west of Guise Rd

After turning around and heading back to Osteen we spotted a very large snake smack in the center of the bike path.

As we got closer, the alarms went off in my head.

Even from quite a distance I could see a flat diamond shaped head and a diamond pattern down its back.

It was a beautiful but very dangerous eastern diamondback rattlesnake, more than a couple feet long.

I stopped a safe distance away. My reason was twofold. I wanted to give it a chance to move off the trail, and to have a good look at it.

Sandy encountered a couple of very large diamondbacks as she was working on finishing up her Florida Trail end-to-end hike, but I hadn’t seen one in the wild in a very long time.

John taking photo of rattlesnake from afar

A zoom lens helped me get a close-up safely

Once I took a few photos, I got off the bike and walked on the grass on the far side of the trail from it, keeping the bike between me and the snake.

It didn’t move as I went by, nor did it rattle. But when I returned to the trail beyond it, it slowly turned its head in my direction.

While it was distracted by me, Sandy quickly rode by on the very edge of the trail as far from its tail as she could be.

It stayed right where it was, laying quietly in the same spot, as we continued on.

Diamondback rattlesnake on pavement

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake we stopped for in the trail

Just as we’d done with the two other venomous snakes we’d seen earlier, we tried to alert cyclists coming towards us to watch out for what was ahead.

Often they’d just smile and nod. They were wearing ear buds and didn’t hear a word we said.

Now that fall is here and the mornings are cooler, watch those paved paths a little more closely when you’re out for a walk or a ride.

There is nothing a snake likes better than sunning itself in a warm place on a cool morning. Like a nice dark asphalt trail.

Bike path in Deltona

A segment of the ECRRT in Deltona where we swerved to avoid a large black racer

Over the past month, we’ve seen more than a dozen species of snakes crossing the trails we ride.

We make a point of going around them so we don’t put them or ourselves in harm’s way.

Most of the time, they aren’t ones that will bite. But venomous ones that can strike are a danger for you.

Pay attention, and be careful out there.

Corn snake on bike path

A corn snake crossing the Coast to Coast Trail

Explore More

Coral snake

Florida’s Venomous Snakes

Florida has six species of venomous snakes. Here is what they look like, and how to identify them when you are outdoors and encounter them in the woods

East Central Regional Rail Trail

East Central Regional Rail Trail

Spanning 36.2 linear miles across southern Volusia County, the East Central Regional Rail Trail offers a long ride that also makes up a portion of several major Florida bike trails

Primary Sidebar

Our Newest Books

The Florida Trail Guide

Our definitive guidebook to planning backpacking trips on the Florida National Scenic Trail, now in its fourth edition. Full data charts and maps. B&W, 356 pages. $19.95 + tax & shipping.

Florida Trail Hikes

Fifty of the best day hikes, overnights, and weekend trips on the Florida Trail. Full hike descriptions and maps, full color. 376 pages. $24.95 + tax & shipping.

Discovering the Florida Trail

Florida Trail mini coffee table book cover of trail into palm hammock

A visual journey the length of the Florida Trail, covering more than 1,500 miles from the Everglades to Pensacola Beach. Hardcover, 196 pages. $24.95 + tax & shipping.
Order Now

Florida Trail Apps

Farout Guides Comprehensive logistics and offline maps for the
Florida National Scenic Trail (1,500 miles), the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (108 miles), and the ECT Florida Connector (92 miles).

Recent Articles

Flooded canoe launch

Parks and Trails Closed Due to Hurricane Ian

Our roundup of closures on federal, state, and county lands across Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Colorful mural behind bicycle

Riding the East Coast Greenway to Stuart

Scouting a piece of the East Coast Greenway on the Treasure Coast, John’s on-the-ground wayfinding stopped him short of his intended goal.

Hiking in Florida

New to Florida? Florida is different. If you don’t know much about our outdoors, start here to learn what’s unique about hiking, backpacking, and camping in Florida.

February 15, 2020 Sandra Friend & John Keatley

I wasn’t at all happy about that alligator blocking the trail. Swamp to the left of us, swamp to the right.

There was no other way to get back to the trailhead. And you absolutely don’t want to get within twenty feet of an alligator.

We tried banging our hiking sticks on the ground, which usually works. It hissed. We yelled and stomped our feet.

We tossed some sticks towards it. Finally, it hissed again and plopped into the water, and we walked by quickly.

When you explore the outdoors anywhere on this planet, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. In Florida, you don’t let your guard down.

Alligator on hiking trail

One alligator. One impossible situation.

Table of Contents

Florida is Different

Everyone asks about our alligators, of course. Since we’ve seen alligators in every Southern state from Texas to North Carolina, that isn’t what distinguishes outdoor recreation here from everywhere else.

Where else can you hike in America where it never snows? Okay, it might flurry in the Panhandle in the dead of winter, but it doesn’t stick.

Read Post  What To Do If Bitten By A Rattlesnake While Hiking?

Our hiking season is flip-flopped from the rest of the country, with prime time being October through April and the best backpacking being January-February.

Florida is flatter, wetter, and sandier than most states, too. But don’t assume that means that hiking here is easier than anywhere else you’ve been.

Dirty Girl Gaiters

You can’t avoid wet feet in Florida if you want to enjoy the backcountry.

Climate & Weather

Seasonality is a big deal when planning to go outdoors in Florida. Florida has different seasons than the rest of the United States.

This is not somewhere you plan a backpacking trip during your summer vacation. Two words: Heat Index.

Winter is the go-to time for every sort of outdoor recreation in Florida. You can paddle and bike year-round, but it’s miserable when you slow down or stop to take a break. See: insects.

Except in an El Niño year, our winters tend to be sunny, dry, and cool. When El Niño hits, it’s overcast and outrageously, miserably, wet. Otherwise, expect clear skies and sunshine.

The first freeze – and yes, it freezes in Florida, so pack that 20-degree sleeping bag – usually happens in late November and knocks out most of the insect population.

If we’re lucky, the mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers don’t return until April. But it all depends on the weather.

The fact that Florida is “Hurricane Alley” means we keep our guard up during hurricane season, June through late October.

Most of the worst storms have occurred in September and October.

While hurricane season and hiking season are thankfully mostly out of synch, backpackers in Florida can apply their “living out of a pack” skills to the power outages that often follow a hurricane’s visit.

Tent camping Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail

Backpacker Tips for Hurricane Prep

Backpacking skills are survival skills. Use your knowledge and gear to make personal preparations for hurricane season power loss and evacuations in Florida.

However, hiking season and hunting seasons are firmly in synch. So that’s why you see a lot of Florida hikers with orange as a primary color in our wardrobes.

Fall and early winter are when deer hunters flood into the woods. Spring is when you’ll encounter turkey hunters. Plan your hiking so everyone can enjoy the same public lands. Here’s how.

Hikers and hunters

Hiking During Hunting Seasons

Florida’s hiking season is also the prime season for hunting in Florida. Be aware of where you’re hiking – many public lands permit hunting – for your personal safety.

Hunting dogs

Safety During Deer Hunting Season

During hiking seasons in Florida, you are often sharing the trails with hunters. General gun season – deer hunting – is the main hunting season for hikers to be concerned about.


Florida has the lowest high point in the USA. But that doesn’t mean our trails are boring. Far from it.

We have an amazing diversity of habitats in Florida, more than 80 distinct ecosystems, despite having only a few hundred feet of elevation change statewide. Some trails showcase a dozen or more ecosystems in a mile or two.

A few inches of elevation change is all it takes to change the habitat around you. Statewide, the botanical diversity is more complex than most states and many countries.

In the Florida Keys, at sea level, there are dense tropical forests of Caribbean plants, some of them poisonous.

In Northwest Florida – the Florida Panhandle – abrupt elevation changes mean Appalachian-style ridges, bluffs, and ravines with mountain laurel co-exist within a few miles of ancient cypress swamps.

Some of Florida’s habitats are perennially dry, like the scrub. It is Florida’s own version of a desert, atop the blinding white sands of ancient oceanfront dunes.

Some habitats – including prairies, pine flatwoods, and hydric hammocks – retain water for a while after a rain, as it slowly percolates back into the ground.

Others habitats are always or often wet. Like floodplain forests and bayheads, mud flats, and coastal estuaries. Florida has a rich diversity and complexity of marshes, including the world’s only Everglades.

Habitats & Plants

Broken Arrow Bluff

Florida Habitats

A haven of biodiversity, Florida has ever-changing landscapes along its trails

Live oak GTM Reserve

Florida Plants and Trees

Florida’s botanical bounty means a million shades of green. Here are photos and descriptions to help you identify plants, shrubs, grasses, mosses, and trees in Florida.

swamp mallow

Florida Wildflowers

Florida’s wildflowers give a compelling reason to get outdoors. Use these resources to identify what you see.

Habitat Safety

toxic trees florida

Florida’s Toxic Trees

Southeast Florida is home to two poisonous trees, the poisonwood and the manchineel. Learn how to recognize them so you don’t get too close, and find out how truly dangerous they are.


Water defines our state. We have over 12,000 miles of rivers, which means lots of great paddling. We have more than 600 named springs, and thousands more that remain nameless.

Lafayette Blue Spring

Florida’s Waters

In Florida, water is an ever-present part of our lives. A visit to the Rainbow River yesterday brought back memories of the past and concerns for the future of Florida’s waters.

Florida is also home to one of America’s largest lakes, Lake Okeechobee. While it’s not a great paddling destination due to its size and alligator population, you can walk or bike 119 miles around it on a trail.

If you you truly want to get into Florida’s wild places, expect to get your feet wet now and again. Especially along the Florida Trail, one of only eleven National Scenic Trails in America.

The wildest section of the Florida Trail, unlike any other hike in the world, is the 30 mile stretch at its southernmost tip that crosses the heart of the Big Cypress Swamp.

Florida Trail, Big Cypress

Crossing Big Cypress

It’s Florida’s roughest, wettest, weirdest backpacking trip, best tackled with friends. Along this 30 mile stretch of the Florida Trail in the heart of Big Cypress National Preserve, immersing in the swamp is the point of the hike. Sandra tackled it as the final stretch of her multi-year 1,110-mile section hike of the Florida Trail, end-to-end.

You can choose not to hike in such a wet place, of course. There are plenty of drier options. But our wildest areas in Florida are mainly that way because they are wet. Particularly at the tip of the Florida peninsula.

Water Safety

As a Florida hiker, you have to be aware of what is going on with water across the state. Did a hurricane drop a lot of water this fall? Is it unseasonably wet this winter, instead of dry?

Play it safe and check ahead on water levels before you drive to a specific location to hike. If our rivers are flooding, many trails may be inaccessible or dangerous to hike.

If rivers are flooding while outside temperatures are also dropping, it’s a recipe for hypothermia.

Florida Trail flooding

River Levels in North Florida

Cold weather and high water causes hypothermia, so play it safe. Before hiking in winter in North Florida and the Florida Panhandle, check these flood gauges.


Before you head outdoors in Florida, you need to understand our wildlife.


It was disturbing that the rather large alligator we described at the beginning of this page wasn’t afraid of humans. And that was the problem. Normally, alligators won’t sit there and hiss. They’re scared of us.

We’re much taller. We look threatening. They quickly slip into the water when they hear you approach, just like most snakes will get out of your way before you even see them.

Read Post  How Many Calories Do You Burn Hiking?

But if someone feeds an alligator, its walnut-sized brain associates humans with food, and it can’t tell a foot from a hamburger bun. Game over.

We weren’t the only ones along that levee, and after we left, the alligator took that position once again, blocking all the other hikers and cyclists from passing through.

It might have been fed. It might have been extremely territorial. But the likelihood that someone could get hurt by getting too close to it was very high.

When we returned to the car, I called 866-FWC-GATOR to inform Florida Fish & Wildlife that there was an aggressive alligator along a heavily-used trail.

It’s rare that an alligator stands its ground. But just recently, we were hiking at a wetlands park in the Orlando area when a very large alligator came striding around a sharp curve towards us.

Alligator walking

It’s startling to have an alligator this large walk towards you.

We stopped. It saw us, laid down, and kept quiet. That’s normal alligator behavior for alligators that have encountered humans but want nothing from them. It just wanted to use the trail.

Since the option was there for us to backtrack, we did. Once we were out of its field of vision, it started walking again, heading up the trail to its destination. We heard the big splash as it plopped into the pond.

Should you be afraid of alligators? No. But you should respect them and give them a good bit of distance – 20 feet as a minimum – as you explore Florida’s outdoors.

Wildlife Safety

Florida Black Bear

Bear Safety in Florida

Tips from Florida Fish & Wildlife on how best to manage encounters with Florida black bears, which are becoming more common in certain parts of Florida.

Bike rack painted like snake

How to Identify a Coral Snake

Coral snake or king snake? Their coloration is similar so it’s tough to tell, but remember the rhyme, “red touch yellow, kill a fellow.” Don’t pick snakes up!

wild hog piglet

Hiker Safety Around Wild Hogs

One of the more fearless creatures you’ll encounter in Florida’s wilds is the wild hog. Here is advice from Florida Fish & Wildlife on how to cope with hogs.

Species Information

American alligator


Florida black bears

Florida Black Bear

Florida panther

Florida Panther

Coral snake

Florida’s Venomous Snakes


Because they are so small, insects don’t receive the proportion of concern and respect that panthers and bears do. You are far more likely to encounter a biting insect in Florida than have any mammal walk up to you.

Know which insects to be concerned about and how to deal with them if you are bitten.

Mosquito model

Things that bite: Mosquitoes

Black widow spider (© ondreicka -

Things That Bite: Spiders

Tick (© Vitalii Hulai -

Things That Bite: Ticks and Chiggers

Safety Considerations

Beyond what is outlined above, these are additional safety considerations you need to think about if you are new to Florida or new to hiking.

Cross Seminole Trail urban bike path

Hike Safe When Hiking Alone

Hiking solo? Here are suggestions how to watch after your own personal safety when you walk in the woods or on urban trails alone

Hogtown Creek Greenway

Hiking Safely With Your Dog

While hiking with your dog can be very satisfying, Florida hiking has its own special perils for your best buddy. Here’s a heads-up on what to look for and where it’s best to take a hike.

Plan a Florida Hike

These are additional basics for hike planning that are very specific to Florida. We encourage you to read all of these articles before you head outside, especially if you are new to our state and thinking about backpacking.

Backpacker under tree

Hiking Basics for Florida

How to hike in Florida – the basics of what you need to know for hiking in Florida, whether you’re day hiking or backpacking.

Backpacking gear Florida

How to Pack for a Florida Hike

The Ten Essentials and More: a checklist for items to bring when day hiking and backpacking in Florida, to plan for the differences you’ll encounter in Florida’s unique conditions

Finding Your Way

Basic wayfinding – understanding where the sun is, looking at landscape, picking out landmarks as you hike – comes as second nature to some people. It’s an important skill that all hikers should cultivate.

FT Eglin (Bob Coveney)

Permits and Passes

Details on how to obtain passes and permits for Florida’s public lands, including Florida State Parks, State Forests, Wildlife Management Areas, National Federal Lands, and Eglin Air Force Base.

Kerr Island hike

How to Layer for Florida

Folks who don’t live in Florida assume that we’re warm and sunny all the time. Not so. Winter days can be cold and damp. Your best defense: pile on those layers!

Hiking group at Orlando Wetlands Park

Find People To Hike With

One of the best digital tools for connecting with fellow hikers, provides a treasure trove of organized groups for you to join and get out on a hike this hiking season.

Merrell Moab Ventilator hiking boots

Hiking Boots For Florida?

This question keeps popping up: what are the best hiking boots? John explains how, through trial by trail, he figured out what works for him. His advice? Keep trying.

Keen sandals

Hiking Sandals: Light On Your Feet

Can you go lightweight on your feet when hiking? John explains his trial and error with lightweight options and preferences for when to wear lightweight shoes and sandals

Lightheart Duo Kitching Creek

Tent Camping in Florida

What should you do when you’re tent camping in Florida? Here’s a how-to checklist to get prepared and make sure you have a comfortable time.

Sandra and her gear at Southern Terminus

How To Prepare For A Backpacking Trip

What does a hiker need to spend a week, or a month, or three months on the trail? Here are trail-tested suggestions for backpacking in Florida for trips of a week or more

Backpacker on stile

Backpacking: The Weight Of Things

Planning a backpacking trip? One thing to consider – very carefully – is what things weight vs. their importance to you, especially on a trip of more than a week.

Backpack Big Cypress

Choosing Gear for a Florida Trail Hike

Our detailed recommendations and reviews of the best hiking and backpacking gear for your thru-hike or section hike of the Florida Trail based on our own successful use of certain tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and more.

Primary Sidebar

Our Newest Books

The Florida Trail Guide

Our definitive guidebook to planning backpacking trips on the Florida National Scenic Trail, now in its fourth edition. Full data charts and maps. B&W, 356 pages. $19.95 + tax & shipping.

Florida Trail Hikes

Fifty of the best day hikes, overnights, and weekend trips on the Florida Trail. Full hike descriptions and maps, full color. 376 pages. $24.95 + tax & shipping.

Discovering the Florida Trail

Florida Trail mini coffee table book cover of trail into palm hammock

A visual journey the length of the Florida Trail, covering more than 1,500 miles from the Everglades to Pensacola Beach. Hardcover, 196 pages. $24.95 + tax & shipping.
Order Now

Florida Trail Apps

Farout Guides Comprehensive logistics and offline maps for the
Florida National Scenic Trail (1,500 miles), the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (108 miles), and the ECT Florida Connector (92 miles).

Recent Articles

Flooded canoe launch

Parks and Trails Closed Due to Hurricane Ian

Our roundup of closures on federal, state, and county lands across Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Colorful mural behind bicycle

Riding the East Coast Greenway to Stuart

Scouting a piece of the East Coast Greenway on the Treasure Coast, John’s on-the-ground wayfinding stopped him short of his intended goal.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *