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In a great man's footsteps

Around 90,000 people complete the West Highland Way every year but now there is a new option for walkers looking for a long-distance challenge.

The John Muir Way, which opens on April 21, stretches 130 miles from Dunbar to Helensburgh and is named after the Scottish adventurer and explorer who established many of America's great national parks.

Scotland's well-established walking routes - the West Highland Way, the Rob Roy Way and the Southern Upland Way among many others - show off the country at its best but the new John Muir Way has a particular appeal because it takes in some of the most interesting urban landscapes as well as beautiful rural areas.

This mix of city and country is exactly what inspired Muir, who loved great open landscapes but was also interested in what he could find in his own backyard.

And once the walk created in Muir's name gets going, there will be a number of other benefits for Scotland. There will be new jobs and an estimated £42 million economic boost in the first year. But the biggest benefit will be enjoyed by the walkers: a chance to explore the centre of Scotland from east to west and in all its striking shades.

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