Goss Moor

Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide

Goss Moor Trail

Goss Moor Trail

Goss Moor is the largest remaining area of mid-Cornwall moorland and is a National Nature Reserve with a multi-use trail.

The mostly flat valley basin is the source of the River Fal. A designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation, the reserve is home to many rare species including Cornish moneywort, yellow centaury, Cornish pillwort, marsh clubmoss, small red damselfly, variable damselfly and the marsh fritillary butterfly.

28 other species of butterfly; 18 types of dragonflies and damselflies; and over 70 species of bird have been recorded on the reserve. The habitat is diverse with dry and wet heath, open water, fen, mire, peatland and lowland heath.

Dormice inhabit the areas of willow and grassland. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the roe deer who graze at dawn and dusk. Otters visit the reserve during the hours of darkness.

Many birds breed here while others overwinter including hen harrier, bittern and great grey shrike.

The River Fal and its associated wetlands are home to eels and brook lamprey.

The name Goss is believed to derive from the Celtic word "cors" meaning a marshy or boggy place. The moor has a long and interesting history. Legends tell of it being one of the hunting grounds of King Arthur. It was listed in the Domesday Book 1086 as being part of the manor of Tremodret. Between 1000 AD up until the 1800s tin was streamed here. During the 20th century gravel and sand were quarried from the moor.

The landscape of the moor with its maze of pools, waterways and marshes still shows evidence of these industrial activities and of centuries of livestock grazing, resulting its interesting combination of heathland, scrub and wetland which provides a home to a huge variety of rare plant and animal species.

The A30 trunk road used to cross the moor but this has now been rerouted.

Multi-use Trail

The Goss Moor multi-use trail is a 7 mile (c. 12 km) circular trail winding its way through the 480 hectare reserve. 

The trail is mostly flat and relatively easy with much of it being off road giving disabled and new walkers and cyclists easy and safe access to the moors.  The trail is surfaced to be suitable for walking, cycling, horse-riding and for wheelchair or mobility scooter users and buggies. There are also additional and linking routes on neighbouring Tregoss Moor.

Please note

Although the trail surface is wheelchair friendly there are gates to open on parts of the trail so if you are using a wheelchair or mobility scooter you may need to have someone with you.

Local facilities and accommodation can be found in nearby towns and villages.

Please see the Goss Moor Trail Guide Map for details of the off road and on road trails around the moor and where you can park.

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