The John Muir Way is a long distance walking route that passes through Loch Lomond. The trail traverses the entire Scottish mainland from west to east starting in Helenbsurgh and finishing in Dunbar, east Lothian on the east coast of Scotland. John Muir was a Scottish – American conservationist who immigrated to America in the mid 19th century and became famous for being the founder of the Sierra Club which is one of the foremost conservationist societies in the USA.
The stages that are incorporated into Loch Lomond are:
stage 1 – Helensburgh – Balloch
stage 2 – Balloch – Strathblane
Starting in Helensburgh provides a snapshot of a traditional west coast Scottish seaside town. There are restaurants, cafes and hotels to provide rest and sustenance before you begin the trail. John Muir set sail for America from this seaside town over one hundred years ago and today you can still feel the same sense of adventure as you start your long voyage across Scotland from this famous departure point. The route provides two options to navigate your way to Balloch however, both can be arduous as you are exposed to the elements as you make your way to the south of Loch Lomond.
Arriving in the town you will be welcomed into its ancient beginnings and provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore the stories and tales of outlaws and kings who once roamed this area. You can take a cruise on Loch Lomond or visit the castle before you begin your next stage to Strathblane.
As you leave Balloch and head east toward Strathblane you have two options for your route. Taking the mountain trail will provide unique views looking north toward Loch Lomond and the highland boundary fault and the easier route will take you past the village of Croftamie which is a short distance to the village of Drymen where you can find rest and sustenance. Scotland’s oldest licensed pub is located in Drymen and is worth the short detour if you have enough time. Once you arrive in Strathblane you are now leaving the Loch Lomond and Trossachs area and beginning the long journey across the mainland of Scotland.
The Loch Lomond section of the John Muir Way can be walked or cycled on a weekend break and if you are driving you can take in the journey in one day with enough viewpoints, visitor destinations, hotels and restaurants to fulfill a short trip within the Loch Lomond area.