I have wanted to explore the Goss Moor Trail for a long time as the route circles an area in Cornwall I’ve not visited on foot or by bike. It straddles the old A30 between Roche and Indian Queens situated in the centre of the county – places you mostly drive-through on the way to somewhere else!
The name ‘Goss’ derives from a Celtic word meaning marshy or boggy place and there have been settlements and mining here from the time of the Domesday book. It is a maze of pools, waterways and marshes and home to a host of rare fauna and flora.
Goss Moor is now a 480 hectare National Nature Reserve managed by English Nature and designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest – it is a nationally important wetland habitat and the source of the River Fal, which runs through Truro and out to sea at Falmouth.
For us wildlife enthusiasts it is a fascinating mosaic of unspoilt wetland, heathland and scrub and a species-rich heaven. 28 species of butterfly, 18 different types of dragonflies and damselflies and over 70 species of birds have been recorded on the reserve. You might catch sight of dormice and roe deer in the willow and grassland and otters if you venture out in the hours of darkness.
When the new A30 (above) was built, Cornwall Council constructed the Goss Moor Trail, a 7-mile circular hard surface track with the intention of making it accessible to all types of user. A good part of the route uses the roadbed of the old A30.
It has many parking spots around the perimeter, allowing easy access from all directions. The trail is mostly flat, safe and relatively easy to use as much of it is off-road or on quiet country lanes. It is surfaced to be suitable for all activities – walking, cycling, pushchairs, balance bikes and scooters, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. There are also some linking routes on neighbouring Tregoss Moor.
I walked the whole circuit with my dog Stan and a friend during lockdown in early February 2021. It was a perfect place – quiet and with space for everyone. We even found ponies grazing and frogspawn!
Despite the car parks being full on a Sunday morning we met very few people and having found this little gem of an exercise spot. I will certainly be back with family, friends and my bike!
If you want to make a whole day out, you could combine this with a visit to the Screech Owl Sanctuary which is at the Indian Queens end of the trail.
Enjoy a break in Cornwall
If you would like to enjoy a break in Cornwall, there are lots of things to do throughout the year. We’ve got a range of cottages which sleep 4-12 people and we’ve won many awards because we are passionate about sustainability – find out more and check availability.