This leg is a 13-mile walk, one of the longer sections, but it has some lovely open stretches on good surfaces. Head off to Clachan of Campsie underneath Cort-ma Law hill and then onto Kirkintilloch’s rich, historic town centre for elevenses. Here you join the first canal stretch, enjoying flat walking on the old towpath before encountering your first Roman Fort at Bar Hill. Take some time out to recreate in your imagination the ancient settlement and rest weary legs after that steep pull up to the summit. Auchinstarry Marina hosts a great eco-pub, so why not stop off for food or a floating overnight stop?
This section mainly follows a refurbished railway path and a level canal towpath. Although the route crosses through Kirkintilloch, it uses an off-road path
At Twechar the route splits in two: walkers head up and over the Antonine Wall, taking in the Roman Fort at Bar Hill. Although it's a steep track, cyclists can use the walking braid but AVOID riding on the soft surfaces at the protected Bar Hill archaeological site. Otherwise cyclists can stay on the canal towpath all the way to the marina at Auchinstarry.
The public toilets are situated at the Co-operative in Lennoxtown, Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre, Twechar Healthy Living Centre and Clachan of Campsie.
Key things to note about this route section.
13 miles, 20.8 km
Average time to complete:
4 hours' walking, 2.5 hours' cycling
Points of interest
Thomas Muir Heritage Trail
18km in length running from Clachan of Campsie by Lennoxtown to Huntershill, Bishopbriggs, the route offers a great walking or cycling experience.
Loch Ardinning is a visitor-friendly wildlife haven with 142 hectares of varied habitat, including wetland, woodland, grassland and moorland. The loch itself supports a number of wintering and breeding wildfowl and is rich in invertebrate life.
This site has been specifically setup for walkers doing the John Muir way. The hosts ARE animal friendly, have toilets on site, fresh water is supplied, they have a rainwater pot wash, fire pits, Undercover cooking area and a small shop. Booking is essential as their campsite is small and has a limited amount of pitches. PRICES are from £6.50per person.