Praise for the John Muir Way

Clachan of Campsie on the John Muir Trail
Clachan of Campsie on the John Muir Trail

A special walking trail has been hailed a huge success on the 100th annniversary of the death of the man it commemorates.

The John Muir Way, which takes in East Dunbartonshire, was officially opened this year on April 21 during a festival marking the renowned naturalist’s birthday.

The coast-to-coast route, which runs between Dunbar and Helensburgh, echoes John Muir’s own personal journey growing up in Scotland’s east coast town of Dunbar before travelling to the west coast, where he set sail for life in America.

The 134-mile lowland trail has been designed to take in castles, historic towns and villages and passes through Clachan of Campsie, Lennoxtown, Milton of Campsie, Kirkintilloch and Twechar on it’s journey from west to east.

It has already proved very popular with both walkers and cyclists from as far afield as the USA, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

The John Muir Birthplace Trust has also seen an immediate benefit from the route with a 25 per cent increase in visitors and a 43 per cent rise in sales.

Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod said: “It is great to see the John Muir Way go from strength to strength.

“Not only has it highlighted the great legacy John Muir made to protecting the environment it also encourages people to explore their local area, attracts visitors from around the world and brings economic benefits to communities along the route too.”

Keith Geddes, chair of the Central Scotland Green Network, was the inspiration behind the route.

He said: “Watching our idea develop into this inspirational and fitting tribute to John Muir has been an incredible experience.

“We are very proud of playing our part in commemorating one of Scotland’s most famous sons and hope the next generation will follow in his footsteps and appreciate and protect our beautiful country.

“Internationally there has been huge media interest and at home an increasing number of Scots are aware of Muir’s life, work and legacy.”

For more information about the John Muir trail, including maps and key sights, go to the website at www.johnmuirway.org