You don't need to try and avoid snakes, they're already trying their best to avoid you, but if you want to give them ample opportunity to get out of your way, walk with a heavy foot fall. Snakes feel vibrations in the ground, so if you come stomping through the woods they'll do their best to slither out of your path before you get too close.
Something that would work better than just poking or bashing the leaves, would be to clear them out of the way. Snakes like to hide in leaves and grass, and are often deterred from crossing open areas, so if you clear the leaves away the snakes will typically slither away with them to find a new hiding spot. Also, snakes only strike animals larger than themselves in self defence, if they think you're attacking them with sticks they may be more likely to act defensively.