A Midland County kayaker came across something you don't see too often on the river, and although it's not threatening, that doesn't make it less scary.

As an experienced kayaker, I can honestly tell you I have never encountered a water snake on the many waterways I've traversed. Although they are common in Michigan, they tend to keep to themselves, and would just as soon be left alone. Especially the big ones.

Victoria Vargas posted this video to a Midland County Facebook page last week, and I have to admit, a snake that big would have gotten my attention, even if it is benign.

Vargas found the snake lounging on a tree branch along the Chippewa River. In the video the snake doesn't appear to move, but when it's that big, does it need to?

Vargas wrote: "While kayaking on the Chippewa River this past Sunday we saw this huge snake on a log. Anyone know what kind it is?"

Most agreed the snake was a Northern Water Snake, which was later corroborated by the Department of Natural Resources.

The Northern Water Snake can grow to a length of five feet, but it is believed they rarely get that big here in Michigan. They are often mistaken for poisonous snakes due to their markings, but are in actually harmless to humans. However, when agitated, they will strike out and bite. The bite will hurt, but contains no venom.

According to the DNR, northern water snakes are often killed just because they scare folks. However, if you leave them alone, they will probably slither away.

Vargas told the news site OurMidland that she was simply curious about the snake, and did not want to invoke fear, which is what she did if you read the Facebook comments.

"Seriously, I will never go near the river again," said one commenter.

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Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

Gallery Credit: Keri Wiginton



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