This posting is part of my effort to document trails in the North River District of the George Washington National Forest that don't have much in the way of online descriptions. Like much of the North River District north of US 33, this trailhead is tough to find and involves a drive over difficult Forest Service roads. We came in via Broadway, Bergton, and Criders, driving in from the north for the northern portion of this trail and accessing via the rough Snake Hollow Road and tough-to-find Snake Hollow Trail.
Several weeks later we returned to access the southern portion of the trail via forest service roads from the south, and these roads were in such terrible shape that I would never recommend them to anyone not driving a Jeep. The German River Road's southern section set a new personal record for the worst forest service road I've ever driven on, even surpassing a road on Shenandoah Mountain that basically murdered a Subaru Outback I once owned - that car never made it back to Charlottesville after driving to the Benson Run Trailhead.
In between these two access points, local landowners claim (apparently without legal basis) that there is no public access to German River Road from the north (via Bergton). One map we found showed a gate on this road, and we did not push the point, though we have since heard that others have made the drive on this section without incident. Below I recommend the best way to access a trailhead - via the Snake Hollow Road.
The Carr Mountain Trail is likely the most obscure trail in the North River Ranger District. The only way I found out about it was a reference to the trail in the PATC's guidebook to the Virginia section of the Great Eastern Trail (GET). It can also be found on a brochure for the proposed Beech Lick Knob Wilderness, as the trail forms part of the Wilderness boundary. Link. This trail is a part of the long distance GET, and was built back in 2012 - 2014 due to construction of the GET. Construction was completed by the PATC's Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter and mountain bike groups. Link.
Further isolating this trail from any use is the fact that it isn't found on either of the National Geographic/Trails Illustrated maps covering this area, though they do show the Snake Hollow Trail. (Much of my continuing issue with these maps is the mistakes I continually find in their coverage - I am genuinely convinced that the only change to these maps each time one is revised is to increase the price of the map.)
The North River District also publishes a list of its trails and this one is not on that list. The list is pretty old - it also fails to include all of the trails that were in the old Deerfield Ranger District, which merged with the Dry River District to become the North River District a couple of decades ago. But I found this list still publicly distributed by the Forest Service as recently as the Summer of 2020, without updates.
Getting to the northern end of the Carr Mtn Trail is difficult, but I found it easier than reaching the south end. The best way to do this is to take the Snake Hollow Road. The SHR is a somewhat rough road that is easy to miss when driving south on the German River Road from the tiny town of Criders.
This map shows the Snake Hollow Road, but incorrectly indicates that it does not connect to the German River Road.