The John Muir Way
The long-awaited John Muir Way was finally opened on April 21st 2014 by First Minister, Alex Salmond amid varied and colourful festival celebrations.
Stretching between John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar to the waters of the Clyde at Helensburgh, this new trail will allow everyone to explore the nature and landscapes of Central Scotland and visit Scotland's first National Park at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
From Helensburgh and its sumptuous diversity of refreshments you find yourself walking the Stoneymollan road to Balloch. Once an ancient coffin road, it's now an exhilarating route reaching the highest viewpoint of the Way overlooking Loch Lomond and the distant mountains.
After the rougher hill walking, there's fast going along the Strathkelvin Railway Path which follows last century's trading tracks and is a speedy bit of the route for bikes, push-chairs and fleet of foot. The track winds its way below the Campsie Fells to Clachan of Campsie and then onto Auchinstarry marina on the canal with its floating restaurant, the Boathouse. Taking in the canal towpaths and some existing paths nearby, the Way leads you past Falkirk and onto Linlithgow with its famous palace and loch.
Travelling east, the route heads off to the coast now and visits the Brewery and delights of Bo-ness before contouring round the Firth to Blackness. The castle there was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland's more powerful families, the Crichtons but in 1453 it became a royal castle and its enduring roles were those of garrison fortress and state prison! Beyond here walkers and cyclists can enjoy Hopetoun and Dalmeny estates before reaching the metropolis of Edinburgh.
Following the coast out of Edinburgh through the racecourse town of Musselburgh, you pick up the original John Muir Way which takes in stately homes, golf courses and Berwick Law at North Berwick before finally arriving at John Muir's birthplace town of Dunbar.
John Muir Way Maps
John Muir Graphic Book
Scottish Book Trust have developed a graphic novel with supporting online activities: John Muir: Earth - Planet, Universe.
The graphic novel, written by the award-winning children's author Julie Bertagna and illustrated by Glasgow-based artist William Goldsmith, aims to increase S1 to S3 pupils' awareness of the value of the natural environment, and encourages them to become actively involved in protecting and enhancing wild places in line with the ethos of John Muir.
The illustrated stories, which cover the key moments in John Muir's life and the supporting online activities which allow readers to engage with the concepts in a creative and enjoyable way, thus developing a deeper understanding of the issues, are on the Scottish Book Trust website .The novel, developed with support from Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, has been designed in line with the requirements for the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.