Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Scotland’s John Muir Way
Most folks associate John Muir with his boundless efforts to make Yosemite a national park and as the father of the Sierra Club. Yet, the great naturalist is just as celebrated in his homeland of Scotland. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death in 1914 and as part of the yearlong Homecoming celebration in 2014, the country has developed a 134-mile route called the John Muir Way. The trail begins in Dunbar, Scotland, where Muir was born, and concludes in Helensburgh, where Muir set sail for America in 1849. Estimated time to complete the route is 8-10 days on foot, 4-6 days by mountain bike. Along the way, hikers will savor the following sights: the famed Arthur’s Seat, with stunning views over Edinburgh; Glengoyne Distillery; historic castles and palaces such as Blackness, Dirleton, Balloch and Linlithgow; and Antonine’s Wall, a World Heritage Site. Keith Geddes, Chair of Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board and the man who came up with the idea for the new John Muir Way, recommends the section from Helensburgh to Balloch and onto Strathblane (27 miles) as the perfect 3-day hike. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Loch Lomond against the mountainous National Park backdrop.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.