Roaches Trail


2 miles long

Railway line #Tameside

Manchester - Leeds Railway cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Peter McDermott - – cropped from original

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The Roaches Trail is a two-mile walk on mainly level surfaced paths in what is now an area of peace and tranquillity, with its woodlands, bridle paths, canal and river. This area was once full of mills, taking advantage of the river for power and the damp climate for the spinning of cotton.

Park of the walk follows the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath. Work started on the building of the canal in 1794 and it was completed and fully opened in 1811. The canal links the Ashton and Peak Forest Canals at Portland Basin, Ashton under Lyne with Huddersfield.

Accessibility and facilities

Although the leaflet describes the walk at easy, it does include some steep sections and is therefore graded ‘moderate’ in the system used on this website. Because of the gradients involved and obstacles such as steps, it is not rated as suitable for wheelchair and pushchair-users.

According to the Tameside Council website, there are only very limited public toilet facilities in Mossley. However, the Roaches Lock Inn is right at the start (or end) of the walk.

How to get there

The main start point described in the leaflet and given on this page is at Roaches Lock, Manchester Road, Mossley. However, we also list an alternative start point at the canal bridge near Woodend Mill (at the end of the second paragraph in the walk description). This is only 0.6 miles /1 km from the centre of Mossley with its train station.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start points, simply click the Google Maps link(s) on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click on the train icon.

Alternatively, input the postcode(s) shown on this page into the TfGM journey planner at

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