John Muir Way

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John Muir Way
Gullane Beach.jpg
Gullane beach lies on the trail
Length 215 kilometres (134 mi)[1]
Location Argyll and Bute and East Lothian, Scotland
Designation Proposed Scotland's Great Trail
Trailheads Helensburgh Esplanade, Helensburgh, Argyll
56°00′11″N 4°44′12″W / 56.0031°N 4.7368°W / 56.0031; -4.7368 (John Muir Way (Helensburgh trailhead))
56°00′09″N 2°30′59″W / 56.0025°N 2.5165°W / 56.0025; -2.5165 (John Muir Way (Dunbar trailhead))
Use Hiking and cycling
Elevation change 500 m (1,600 ft)
Highest point 500 m (1,600 ft)
Lowest point 0 m (0 ft)
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy to moderate
Season All year
Sights Castles, canals , beaches, birds, Roman sites, Falkirk wheel, Kelpies and Helix.
Hazards none
John Muir Way fingerposts

The John Muir Way is a 215-kilometre (130 mi) continuous long distance route in southern Scotland, running from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute in the west to Dunbar, East Lothian in the east. It is named in honour of the Scottish conservationist John Muir, who was born in Dunbar in 1838 and became a founder of the United States National Park Service.

The John Muir Way opened on 21 April 2014.[2] Previously a shorter 'John Muir Way' existed only in East Lothian, but now the majority of this older route is now absorbed into the much longer new route. A shorter section of older route from Dunbar to the Scottish Borders will be renamed.

The John Muir Way is signposted throughout using a purple-brown logo.

Along the road is The Kelpies, the largest equine sculpture in the world.[3]


Taking the trail from west to east, the John Muir Way starts in Helensburgh, from where he left Scotland for the United States.[4] The trail follows over the hills, providing views of Loch Lomond and the Trossach mountains, before descending into Balloch, with its National Park centre. This is one of the wilder sections of the route with the most rugged terrain: windswept, high moorland with little shelter. From here the route winds its way towards Strathblane and Scotland's most famous long distance walk, the West Highland Way which it crosses near Dumgoyne hill and Glengoyne Distillery.

At Kirkintilloch, the trail picks up the Forth and Clyde Canal and heads through Strathkelvin to Falkirk and its wheel which provides a link between waterways for travelling craft. Roman forts and the Antonine Wall are the next attractions en route to the ancient town of Linlithgow and its impressive palace of Mary, Queen of Scots. It leaves Linlithgow with its low lying loch for the seashore and the harbour town of Bo'ness, coasting along to Blackness Castle and the bridge town of South Queensferry. The trail follows the greener places in the capital city, Edinburgh, before guiding travellers east, past famous, coastal birding and golf spots via Aberlady and North Berwick. The trail ends in Dunbar, where Muir was born and there is a museum dedicated to him.[4]

A full list of settlements on the John Muir Way can be generated by looking at the maps.


The Independent declared John Muir Way its Walk of the Month for February 2014.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ East Lothian information Archived 8 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "John Muir Way Opens In April 2014 - Outdoors News". OutdoorsMagic. 4 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Scotland: 10 reasons to come join the clans". Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  4. ^ a b Miller, David (17 April 2014). "John Muir Way ready to be unveiled". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Mark Rowe (2014-02-22). "Walk of the month: East Lothian coast - Great strides towards conservation - UK - Travel". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Coordinates: 56°02′53″N 2°43′09″W / 56.0481°N 2.7191°W / 56.0481; -2.7191 (John Muir Way)