The John Muir Way is a new 134 mile lowland trail which opened on 21 April 2014. The trail’s launch featured as part of the John Muir Festival which marked both the conservationist’s birthday and centenary of his death. It has since captured significant interest from the public and media both locally and internationally.
Running between Dunbar and Helensburgh, the trail 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 route has been designed to take in castles, historic towns and villages, stunning coastal scenery as well as Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Creating the new John Muir Way is a flagship project for the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN). Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGN, who conceived of the route, commented: “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.”
With the route now operational, the focus is now moving to look at how to maximise the development and use of the John Muir Way and to safeguard its future management. A stakeholder workshop in September 2015 helped to inform thinking on how this would be approached.
The intention is to develop the following by 31 March 2016:
- Route, structures and promotions in good shape for new LDR season
- Vision and draft Management Plan prepared to provide future direction
- Business Case prepared to support continued and encourage new investment in the route and recommend where responsibility will lie for coordinating JMW development, management and maintenance
- Clear view and stakeholder support for Management Structures from April 16 onwards
- If possible, funding application submitted to support an initial post (or FTE posts)
Our next step is to set up a short term working group to help Scottish Natural Heritage and CSGNT to develop these actions.
John Muir Way Promo Video
For more information please visit the John Muir Way website.