The start/finish of the route is marked by a seat made from Scottish oak and a circular stone plinth with engraved footprints and a John Muir quote. Starting out from this seaside holiday town is a treat. There are more than enough cafes and eateries to choose from in this west coast holiday town before you set off up the hill on your trip. Take time out to look seawards and imagine sailing off to America from those waters like John Muir did well over a century ago. If you’ve time, why not visit the National Trust for Scotland's Hill House and enjoy some arts and crafts splendour. Once up onto the hill you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Loch Lomond against the National Park mountain backdrop. With that tremendous view, the route winds its way down to Balloch, where your first set of home comforts lie.
The Way uses pavements, gravel & grassy paths and quiet roads. Walkers and cyclists share the route for some of the way until just outside Helensburgh where the walkers route heads up over Gouk Hill.
Forestry operations at Bannachra Muir
From June 2018 until spring 2019, Scottish Woodlands will be carrying out felling, extraction and restocking works at Bannachra Muir on the John Muir Way walkers’ route between Helensburgh and Balloch.
The John Muir Way will remain open, but users are asked to take extra care and follow any on-site signage and instructions from the contractor. The forest road will have forestry traffic during extraction and may become muddy during wet weather.
The works can be avoided by following the John Muir Way signed alternative via the Three Lochs Way – as shown on the map here.
The John Muir Way cyclist route is unaffected
Key things to note about this route section.
9 miles, 14.4 km
Average time to complete:
4 hours' walking, 1.5 hours' cycling
Points of interest
The route starts or finishes by the engraved circular stone plinth and seat at the entrance to Helensburgh Pier at the start of the West esplanade.
The Hill House
Managed by the National Trust for Scotland, the finest of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's domestic creations, The Hill House sits high above the Clyde, commanding fine views over the river estuary.
(CURRENTLY CLOSED - we will update on re-opening) The Heroes Centre celebrates over 100 local figures from John Logie Baird to actress Deborah Kerr and houses a 50's themed cafe. John Muir Way certificates, maps & guidebooks are available here.