A hiker exploring Jeffries Creek Park in Florence recently had an unexpected encounter with a colossal snake lurking near a creek’s edge.
Although not an uncommon sight in the area, the woman, Meredith Langley, was taken aback by the sheer size of the snake, prompting her to capture photographic evidence to share her astonishing discovery.
After closely examining the impressive serpent, Langley decided to share her photos on the South Carolina Hiking club’s Facebook page. Unsurprisingly, her post quickly garnered widespread attention, accumulating thousands of shares within a matter of days.
In her post, Langley seized the opportunity to impart a lesson to her own children, emphasizing the importance of not rushing ahead on trails. The snake, despite its considerable size, expertly blended into its surroundings, making it challenging to spot.
Biologist Greg Lucas from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources identified the snake as a harmless brown water snake. Lucas explained that the perception of these snakes appearing larger is due to their thick, muscular bodies. Typically, water snakes reach their full size between 30 and 60 inches.
These reptiles belong to the natricine snake family, representing a nonvenomous species endemic to the southeastern United States. They are commonly found in rivers and streams throughout the region.
Langley shared that during their weekly hikes, encounters with copperhead snakes are not uncommon, while water snakes and water moccasins are also prevalent in the area. According to her estimations, the snake she encountered and shared online was approximately four feet long.
Despite its imposing size, the snake displayed no fear in the presence of Langley and her companions.
“It watched me with stillness and reserve, and without aggression or fear. That told me that this creature knew with certainty that it was capable of defending itself if needed, but it need not exert that energy unnecessarily,” Langley remarked.
Respecting the snake’s natural habitat, Langley emphasized, “That area is its home, not ours, and my children and I maintain that respect and reverence anytime we are out in nature.”