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Lovesick Amphibians Close Road in Poconos

MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Love is in the air in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Part of River Road is closed overnight so drivers don't squash spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and spring peepers on their way to breed.

"They're actually coming. If you can see, behind us is the forest, and that's where they spend their winter, and then they come out of those grounds just when the conditions are right,” said Park Ranger Kathleen Sandt.

The National Park Service has closed part of River Road at night during each mating season since 2003 to protect the love-struck amphibians, who have to cross the roadway to get to breeding pools.

The road will be closed overnight when the conditions are right: mild temperatures and rainy in the evening. It will reopen at 6:30 a.m.

This year, it seems mating season started earlier than ever.

"This year, we had our first road closure in February, which we've never done before,” said Sandt.

The National Park Service invites people to come see this "lovers crossing" for themselves. Visitors can park at the park headquarters, wear light colored clothing, dress for the weather, and bring flashlights.

"She said, 'Let's go out and look at the salamanders,’ and I'm like, ‘I don't know if I want to do that.’ Now that I'm out, it's cool. Love the nature, beautiful place,” said Jim Podmayersky of Stroudsburg.

Armed with flashlights and walking carefully, a group of high school students, parents, and young kids and adults were all out, for what someone called an "unfrogettable evening" and a "hopping good time."

"I've wanted to do this for years, and I finally got here and we're going to wait and see what happens. I think it’s terrific. I think we need to do more of this kind of stuff," said Kate Andrew of Stroudsburg.

2 comments

  • Thanks

    Now if this story was BEFORE they planned to close the road, I would have loved to see this occur. Thanks WNEP for doing another story AFTER the fact..

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