The John Muir Way saw more than 6,000 people complete the 134-mile trail during 2015, according to a new Scottish Natural Heritage report.
In all, there were over 60,000 visits to the John Muir Way, which opened in April 2014, either to walk or cycle, last year, and a further 200,000 visitors made use of some of the popular local sections for routine dog walking, commuting and other purposes.
Eight in 10 visitors were extremely or very satisfied with their visit to Scotland’s newest long-distance route, citing in particular the variety of views, scenery, landscapes and terrain on offer. Seventy-five percent of the users are walkers, and 25% are cyclists.
The Way has been designed to be used for local day trips across the Central Belt, as well as an end-to-end long distance trail, with easy access to attractions, public transport and accommodation along the way.
The survey also found that a third of those interviewed were people who ‘seldom’ visit the outdoors, highlighting the potential of the route to encourage a new generation of outdoor visitors.
Ron McCraw, route developer for SNH, said: “We’re really thrilled to discover how many people are using the John Muir Way. In particular, it’s great that so many people who may not have considered going out for a walk or cycle very often before are enjoying the Way. We’re now working with Central Scotland Green Network Trust and other partners to encourage even more people to journey on the route, which will benefit communities and businesses throughout the Central Belt.”
Keith Geddes, chair of the Central Scotland Green Network, developed the vision behind the route and is proud to see locals and visitors following in the footsteps of John Muir.
He said: “After years of planning it is great to see people enjoying the route.”