Explore John Muir Way - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Description

This trail is named after John Muir. The Scottish honor him because he was Scottish born and was a leader in conservation. He worked to create the United States National Park Service. This is a through trail that is typically hiked in ten days. The days are divided into the following segments. 1. Helensburgh to Balloch 2. Balloch to Strathbane 3. Strathbane to Kilsyth 4. Kilsyth to Falkirk 5. Falkirk to Linlithgow 6. Linlithgow to South Queensferry 7. South Queensferry to Edinburgh 8. Edinburgh to Prestonpans 9. Prestopans to North Berwick 10. North Berwick to Dunbar The segments can also be found on AllTrails. It is recommended that you plan your accommodations ahead of time. Accommodations on the trail range from castles and estates, to campsites and hostels.

John Muir Way Map
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Reviews (36)
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 22, 2020
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
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First to Review

Good coastal path that follows the Firth of Forth all the way to Bo’ness before turning inland. I walked it from east to west, so started by going under two of the Firth bridges and through a residential area before entering the grounds of the Hopetoun House estate, which deserves a side trip if you have time. Once past the house, the trail goes through fields of sheep and deer before entering a dense forest that takes you all the way to Blackness Castle, another nice side trip. Not too long after Blackness, the trail runs between the Firth and industrial areas that can be loud and smelly before getting to Bo’ness Harbour and a nature preserve, with cafes and loos in the village just off the trail. Leaving the coast, the path works its way through another residential area before entering the Kinneil Estate. The estate has a museum, church ruins, the ruins of a workshop used by the inventor James Watt, an orchard and a wee portion of a Roman fortlet with a World Heritage Stone. The house itself is partial ruins, but the intact section is beautifully decorated with Renaissance wall paintings. The trail continues through the estate woods before turning onto a country lane that meanders through farmland and along a creek before reaching Linlithgow.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2020
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First to Review

This is one of the least scenic sections of the John Muir Way. The coastal parts of the path are great for scenery and Musselburgh Lagoon is good for birding, but the rest is unremarkable. The section along Brunstane Burn and south of Arthur's Seat isn't bad, but is often surrounded by high walls so you feel like you're in a partial tunnel. Definitely go through the Innocent Railway tunnel near the Edinburgh end/beginning of the trail. Although not part of the trail itself, the tunnel is definitely worth the extra steps. This section doesn't have the quaint villages with cafes and ice cream parlours, with loos, that the other East Lothian sections have, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you are walking the whole JMW.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 27, 2020
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Shannon Sinclair reviewed John Muir Way: North Berwick to Dunbar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
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First to Review

This is easily the most beautiful section of the trail and it is designed well and drains easily, so mud is usually not a problem. Definitely stop by the John Muir Birthplace Museum in town. I did the trail east to west, so backwards for most hikers. After leaving Dunbar, you follow a coastal path past a golf course, beach area, family park, parking lots, farmland and along the River Tyne, but no villages until you reach East Linton. Almost total nature. Just before East Linton, you can take a very short side trip to see the Phantassie Dovecot in the middle of a field or the historic Preston Mills by the river. Not much to see unless you like old buildings or Outlander filming locations. From East Linton, starts off through a short residential area and a small hill when with more grade than my knee liked, but at the top, a great view of North Berwick Law about seven miles away and Traprain Law to the south. Then the trail weaves through farmland and a Dark Hedges-type forest where I expected to see fairies or elves scuttling under rocks and behind trees. A large industrial farming area just past the hill has a distinctively unpleasant odour, but there is no elevation you can walk by quickly. Back to a bit of farmland as get closer to North Berwick Law, which is worth a hike up if you're not too knackered. Skirt the base of the Law to the west and come you come to a park, that leads to the end at the trail. Good bus service to both ends of the trail.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
HikingGreat!
First to Review

I did the walk backwards from Edinburgh to South Queensferry. The first couple miles wound through quaint streets with access to cafes (and loos) for lunch, then a long canal walk followed by a short bit of a tree-lined walkway through neighborhoods. There was a diversion after getting off the path, with indeterminate signage as to which way to go at the big road, but it should be fixed now. Next is a tricky section that goes along a major road and by the Zoo, then turns into a lovely Nature Reserve with a killer hill but great views at the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint (and you will be). Back down the other side of Corstorphine Hill, there is a walk along a path between houses with snatches of a great view between the houses since you are still high up. Across another busy road followed by a local park, nice neighborhood and golf course before crossing the River Almond and following it to the Firth of Forth through a massive estate and golf course. The views through the forest and across the Firth are fantastic, then suddenly you make it out of the forest and are greeted with the sight of the Forth Rail Bridge. Walk under the bridge and you are in the beautifully quaint village of South Queensferry with lots of tourists and ice cream shops. Convenient bus service to the beginning and end of the trail.

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Neilly McGinley reviewed John Muir Way: Helensburgh to Balloch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 20, 2019
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Lucky enough to have this walk on my doorstep........nice walk and a hidden bench with stunning view of Loch Lomond if you are lucky enough to stumble across it.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2019
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First to Review

This record includes a couple of missed turnings which we did too(!) but not for long to double back and easily spotted in advance by zooming into the map. End point recorded here is not the official end point which is at Strathblane and which we realised after just leaving Carbeth Loch and was easy to follow the signs too rather than this recording. NB Easier to follow the official route to the end as don't lose height and have to climb back up to Strathblane.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 10, 2019
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No one walks 100 miles in the Scottish rain without a reason to do so! I walked it to find myself after a difficult period in my life. So glad that I did. It was wonderful. On my first night I stayed at a fabulous hotel called Ardoch House Hotel. Truly exceptional. It is also a nature retreat offering yoga, reiki, etc. Seriously cool. If I am honest that was the best place that I stayed at over my 6 day/night walk. Great value for money too. If you are walking the WHW then stay here on your first night for some hippy luxury.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 18, 2018

Part of the trail were absolutely lovely but there were some muddy areas to wall through. The views, when out of the clouds, were gorgeous. People are friendly.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2018
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A nice walk, particularly once you start to climb away from the road and once you get through the clear cut forests. The stretch into Balloch was particularly nice.

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Craig Robertson reviewed John Muir Way: Helensburgh to Balloch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2018
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First to Review

A great walk! Didn’t do the whole stretch from Balloch...instead got a relative to drop me off on the way to Balloch and hiked in a logging road that appears on the trail map as the black dotted line that ends at Craigendoran. That route took about 2 hours up and over Ben Bouie - a mountain of about a 1000ft or so...from which you get really lovely views of the Clyde and Helensburgh as well as on the way up Loch Lomond and the islands. As usual when hill walking in Scotland expect rain out of nowhere! The downhill part toward Craigendoran led through some lovely forest with rich ferns and babbling brooks and some giant slugs!! :) My 11 year old hiking buddy loved those!! Easy to spot from the huge glistening trail of goo they leave behind them!! Assuming you get some sun! ;) A great day and a nice walk into Craigendoran along some beautiful old stone walls, sheep and horse farms and typical Argyll and Bute country charm! When done head into Helensburgh and grab a 99 ice cream cone from Dino’s cafe! Stick with the vanilla!! Believe me!! It’s amaaaazing!! Best I’ve ever had! And then walk Helensburgh’s lovely seashore and boardwalk toward Rhu Spit (point)...and keep watch for washed up jelly fish and a seal that occasionally adorns the Helensburgh pier! Honestly just a lovely town and a great day of walking!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
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John Panagiotou reviewed John Muir Way: Helensburgh to Balloch
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 28, 2019
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2019
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2019
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2019
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Richard Novacek reviewed John Muir Way: Falkirk to Linlithgow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019
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Richard Novacek reviewed John Muir Way: Kilsyth to Falkirk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019
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Richard Novacek reviewed John Muir Way: Strathblane to Kilsyth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2019
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Richard Novacek reviewed John Muir Way: Strathblane to Kilsyth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2019
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Michael Holland reviewed John Muir Way: Helensburgh to Balloch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2019
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2019
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