The John Muir Way today (Friday 21 April 2017) celebrated the third anniversary of the official opening of the 134-mile coast-to-coast route.
The route - which commemorates the world-renowned conservationist - was launched on Muir’s birthday on 21 April 2014 and has welcomed visitors from across the globe.
Around 300,000 visits* are made annually to the route - with 75% walking and 24% cycling.
Around 6,000 visits are undertaken by end-to-end users who complete all 134 miles of the route over consecutive days while 19% (57,000) visits are by those looking to complete the route in sections.
The John Muir Birthplace in Dunbar has also seen a steady increase in the number of people visiting who have completed the whole route. Of those who left details, 46% were from the USA, 25% were Scottish, 10% were from the rest of the UK, 8% were from Europe and 5% were from the rest of the world.
The route stretches across Scotland’s heartland - running between Helensburgh in the west through to Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar in the east.
John Muir Way passes through East Dunbartonshire, with a number of people visiting the area as a result.
East Dunbartonshire Council’s Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets - Thomas Glen, said, "The John Muir Way has become a popular long-distance route, both with locals and visitors from the rest of the UK and overseas, in celebration of the inspirational life of the renowned Scottish-born conservationist John Muir.
"East Dunbartonshire Council is delighted to invite walkers and cyclists to experience the stunning views and landscape of the Campsies, and welcomes visitors to the local hostelries which interlink the John Muir Way, Thomas Muir Trail and Strathkelvin Railway Walkway."
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network, was the inspiration behind the trail.
He said: “Three years on from the launch of the John Muir Way and the route’s popularity is still growing throughout the world. SNH’s recent decision to award the route Scotland’s Great Trail status will further enhance its standing. Interest from John Muir’s adopted home, the USA, continues and over the summer the CBS Sunday Morning programme will be filming parts of the route.
“We hope that the route will interest more and more people in the life and legacy of John Muir, encouraging them to think about conservation and how they can make their own individual or collective contribution to combating climate change. Muir’s influence over a succession of American presidents just shows how some of today’s young Scots could make their mark on the world.”
For further information about the John Muir Way, please visit www.johnmuirway.org – a dedicated website on the 134 mile route with key information to help people plan their trip. You can also like the John Muir Way on Facebook and follow the John Muir Way on Twitter
*John Muir Way Visitor Survey 2014-2015 commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage
Pictured - John Muir Way - Clachan of Campsie, East Dunbartonshire