The John Muir Way was launched in April this year during the John Muir Festival, which commemorated the centenary of the conservationist’s death. The route stretches across central Scotland from Helensburgh to Dunbar, passing through 10 access authorities on its way. There are several organisations now making further improvements to the route, as detailed in the following John Muir Way update.

Falkirk Council is leading on major works between Bo’ness and Blackness, where the sea wall is being rebuilt with a new bitmac surface on top. The new path will accommodate both the John Muir Way and National Cycle Route 76.

West Dunbartonshire Council are managing a large contract to build a new path over Gouk Hill between Helensburgh and Balloch. The path is currently steep and muddy in places but once complete it will enable walkers to make the most of the stunning views over Loch Lomond. 

Both these paths should be complete by mid-September.

In the Kilpatrick Hills, planning is underway for a brand new section of path through Forestry Commission land between Carbeth and Wester Cameron. It is hoped that this section will open during the summer of 2015.

In Edinburgh a small diversion has been signposted to provide an alternative to the steps near the Water of Leith visitor centre. Edinburgh Council is improving the steps by widening the cyclists’ ramp.

Focal points are being developed to mark both ends of the route: 

  • in Helensburgh a new three metre diameter artwork is being incorporated into the redevelopment of the promenade 
  • the Dunbar end will be marked by an engraved flagstone outside the John Muir Birthplace Museum.

SNH is liaising with access authorities on:

  • route management needs to inform long term arrangements for management coordination
  • accessibility for people with disabilities
  • accessibility for horse-riding. 

SNH is also currently tendering for a user survey which is planned to run monthly from October 2014 to September 2015, and making ongoing improvements to the John Muir Way website.

With thanks to SNH for providing this update.