GET Section 4a Trail Report

January 5, 2013


Blazes were marked on the pavement (outside the white side lines) at the intersection of VA 259 & VA 820, and at VA 820 & Blue Hole/Grove Hollow Road. 


August 25, 2012


Tom Johnson, Tim Hupp, and Faith Schlabach hiked from the end of the Blue Hole/Grove Hollow Road to the Beech Lick Knob pond.  The road needed some clearing of fallen trees, the trail was trimmed, and a route flagged across Beech Lick Knob.  After this date, IMBC members Mike & Susan cleared the downed trees on the flagged route on Beech Lick Knob. 



April 7, 2012


There was work done (with a large crew) on the west/south end of Carr Mountain Trail.  The SVBC hired a Ditch Witch to grade nearly a mile of trail beyond the power line, and a crew cut tread into the steep hillside beyond that. 


August 13, 2011

The construction on VA 820 (Bergton Road) has been completed. 

German River Road to Blue Hole Road gate, 12.7 miles
       This hike started as a work trip on the Carr Mountain Trail, as far as Beech Lick Knob.  From there, I continued to hike to the east end of the Carr Mountain Trail, and down the Blue Hole Road to its gate.  There were 16 people on the worktrip, including Tom Johnson, Lloyd McAskill, Malcolm & Lynn Cameron, Mark & Betty Gatewood, Nancy Hall, Bob Eggleston, and me with PATC, bicyclists Mike & Susan, and Chris, or equestrians Adam & Faith Schlabach and father and son Matt and Hunter Emswiler.  Also along were my dog Sid and Tom's dog Sam.  Sid & I were the only hikers doing the length of this trip, and the 3 bikers also did this route on their bicycles.  The Schlabachs rode their horses down from Beech Lick Knob to Yankeytown Road, and all the others went back to German River Road.  On Beech Lick Knob, many, if not most of us, got lost. 
       The Carr Mountain Trail has been cleared as far as the dry pond on the south (west) side of Beech Lick Knob, although some grading needs to be done in the first mile.  Also, the trail has been cleared and blazed from the saddle east of Beech Lick Knob to the trailhead at the end of FDR 202.  Across Beech Lick Knob, though, it is not evident where the trail goes.  Some blazes without a path lead west of the pond a ways, but after that there are none and there is no other indication of where the trail should go.  The original trail went across the southeast side of the Beech Lick Knob, but it was very difficult to find.  I was in the front group with Tom, Lloyd, and Nancy, and we could not agree on which way we should proceed, since a compass did not match what we read on the map.  We set out what turned out to be east and soon the other 3 turned back and I headed on my own plan.  Near the bottom of the hill—I needed to trend to the right down the ridge—I found the trail we had worked on last summer. 
      The Trail from that point was in reasonably good shape, just a little grown in with blackberry or white snakeroot only at a few points.  There were some places where the trail was hard to follow, but it is blazed. 
      The last 0.3 mile of the trail, which follows an old road grade was weed-whacked, which was appreciated by me since it was raining at that time (later I found Tom had done so the day before).  Unfortunately, FDR 302 has lots of high grass and weeds, which had not been cleared.  Further down, there is less high plant growth, but more ruts from recent rains. 
        At the gate there was a new post naming the road (FDR 302) "Grove Hollow", rather than Blue Hole.  This is another difference of road names of the Forest Service vs. Rockingham County. 

October 23, 2010

           Work commenced on the west/south end of Carr Mountain Trail.  About 1.5 miles was cleared and graded.  About 1.5 mile remains uncleared in the middle.  Much of it will not require grading. 

           I found an interesting gulch beside German River Road just 0.1 mile above the Carr Mountain Trail end.  It would be neat to put the GET through there--it would require just 0.1 mile of grading trail. 
           After the work of this weekend, we found out that German River Road is open from Criders--we had thought it was gated, but it is no longer.  This will make access to this end of Carr Mountain Trail much easier, as the other approaches are awful. 
           Construction along VA 820 continues. 

July 24, 2010


           More work was done on the Carr Mountain Trail, some tread work and clearing to 2.0 mile.  Blasting continues on VA 820.  There are plans to work on the south (west) end of Carr Mountain Trail in September. 



July 4, 2010



           The Carr Mountain Trail has had some work done on it from the north end--about 1.9 miles has been graded as it goes along the side of Cabin Ridge and Beech Lick Knob.  Worktrips have been done in April 2009, October 2009, and April 2010.  Another is planned for the south end of the Carr Mountain Trail on July 24, 2010 (work was on north end)


           There is construction along VA 820 in this section.  Blasting was to begin on June 1.  This would make the road wider, certainly with more room on the side of the road to walk. 





August 1, 2009
Long Run Road to powerline over German River Road, 4.9 miles (10.8 hiked)


            This was all road walking on National Forest Roads.  All the roads were open to vehicles, but I wouldn't want to drive on all of them.  I had to drive on some of them, and I would prefer not to have to do some of them again.  I'd never been in this part of Rockingham County before (my home is in Rockingham County). 

            It was a warm, dry day, although the elevation and shade (some from clouds) made it not too bad, especially for summer.  I hiked it with my dog Sid.  He's a little stiff from two long, rather quick, hikes in two days.  I saw or heard many deer and birds on this hike.  Flowers were plentiful, but not nearly as many as the day before. 


            Some observations:


  • I drove up Long Run Road and back down on Little Dry River Road.  The latter is a much better road, even if it does have a lot of rocks and a few ditches across it.  Long Run Road is good up to Rocky Run Road (first 6.3 miles).  Then it is loaded with large rocks, huge puddles, sharp rises and falls, making it a slow drive.  Often I was going slower than my speedometer can read.  It took me at least two hours to get from Harrisonburg to the end of Long Run Road on Hall Spring Road.  (Long Run Road is 16.4 miles from VA 612 to Hall Spring Road.)  By contrast, it took less than an hour to get to Harrisonburg going down Little Dry River Road.  It looked like there had been work on waterbar drainage areas of Long Run Road near Hall Spring Road, but it did not improve the roadbed. 
  • Hall Spring Road is open (in the summer) to a point 2.3 miles from Long Run Road.  It is not much better to drive on than Long Run Road. 
  • Long Run Road is fairly well signed, and Hall Spring Road is signed (they have posts as you leave the intersection) as well.  However, there are no identifying signs on Little Dry River Road at all, at the intersections with German River Road (?), Hall Spring Road, and Cow Knob Road. 
  • The intersection of Little Dry River Road with Hall Spring Road makes a triangle with sides of about 0.1 mile.  Inside that triangle are places for parking, camping (fire ring), a privy, and remains of the building shown on the Topographic map.  But no identifying signs. 
  • Just east of this triangle is a large field with views and many campsites. 
  • The intersection of Little Dry River Road and German River Road (?) has only a number sign for the German River Road, none identifying Little River Road.  A short distance from that intersection the road comes to a "T", with a street sign designating German River Road going left and Funk Mountain Road to the right, but nothing saying what the approaching road is supposed to be.  What is a street sign doing here when none of the other intersections have one? 
  • German River Road is open and passable to cars, but I sure wouldn't want to drive on it.  It is two tire tracks with the wider center overgrown with plants, mostly smartweed.  On the sides are growing blackberry and stinging nettles, which reach in, but are avoidable, as very few are in the center.  There were a lot of Wineberries ripe, also, which are mostly past season elsewhere.  The walk on German River Road was fairly pleasant, but would be better without the occasional puddle and the Stinging Nettles. 
  • I went down German River Road 4 miles to the powerline, as I was told that is where the Carr Mountain Trail leaves the road.  I didn't see anything at the powerline, but about 0.3 miles before there, I saw a trail that had 4 yellow blazes close in, but none further on.  Is this the Carr Mountain Trail? 
  • For camping, there's not too much along German River except at the lower crossing of the River.  There were some people there with 3 large tents set up.  There would be other places on the other side of the river as well. 
  • A pickup truck passed me not far from the lower end of my excursion with the men from the campsite.  It had a WV license plate, and they were heading toward Criders, so I figure they were getting through there.  (The other vehicle at the campsite had a VA license plate.) 
  • As I neared the campsite coming back, two people on horses were coming through, with their dog.  After I got back to my car, two motorcycles started on the road that way, too. 
  • Although maps indicate Sand Spring, and I was close to it, I could find no path toward it, unless it was at the upper German River crossing, which is just below it. 
  • No poison ivy was seen along these roads that I walked. 


GET Guide for this section



GET Guide contents




©2006 - 2011 Brown Mountain Photography