John Muir Trail is centenary’s flagship project

John Muir Trail. Longniddry Bents, East Lothian
John Muir Trail. Longniddry Bents, East Lothian

This Sunday marks a year from the launch of the John Muir Trail – and a huge amount of work has already been completed.

Fittingly, the new long-distance route, which passes through East Lothian, will open on John Muir’s birthday on April 21, 2014, and forms part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Scots born naturalist’s death.

The John Muir Trail will link Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar to Helensburgh via Scotland’s first National Park - Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and will take in East Lothian along the way. The trail will celebrate John Muir’s life, promoting his ideas and providing a memorable walking experience for both local people and overseas visitors.

The 105-mile (169km) trail will follow some existing routes such as the John Muir Way in East Lothian. In other sections, new paths are being created. The route will enable walkers, cyclists and horse riders to easily visit some of the most beautiful coastal scenery, sweeping landscapes, wildlife sites and historic visitor attractions across Scotland’s heartland.

Conservationist John Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838, before emigrating to the United States in 1849.

Amongst his achievements, he helped save the Yosemite Valley in California, was a co-founder of The Sierra Club – one of the most influential grassroots environmental organisations in the USA – and successfully campaigned for National Parks in America.

The launch of the new route is an integral part of the Year of Homecoming 2014 and its opening will be one of a number of events to “Bring John Muir Home”. Muir’s life, work and legacy will be a focus of national and international attention with John Muir 2014 providing one of the signature themes for the year.