Kilpatrick Hills path to be added to John Muir Way

John Muir Way The John Muir Way runs across central Scotland from Helensburgh to Dunbar

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Funding of £492,000 has been secured to add a 5km path extension to the John Muir Way up the Kilpatrick Hills.

The 134-mile route, which opened in April, runs from Helensburgh to Dunbar.

The new path, due to open in May 2015, will provide an alternative to the Balloch to Carbeth section which runs on a public road and footpath.

The John Muir Way is named after the Scottish-born American naturalist who is credited with helping to establish the United States' national parks.

The funding for the path was provided by sportscotland, Scottish National Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland.

'Amazing views'

Stuart Chalmers, from Forestry Commission Scotland, said the extension was "a really exciting development for the John Muir Way".

"Our plan is to create this new link in Kilpatrick Hills which are an expansive hill range that tower above Dumbarton and Clydebank," he said.

Kilpatrick Hills The new path on the Kilpatrick Hills will be opened in 2015

"People enjoy visiting for the amazing views, sense of space, rugged beauty and wildlife.

"All of these qualities reflect what John Muir was all about, which is why we're delighted to be part of this project."

Ron McCraw, John Muir Way development manager with Scottish Natural Heritage said: "This key route improvement has always been the preferred option and is well supported by the public, local groups and businesses.

"Now with funding secured, we can re-direct the route through the Kilpatrick Hills and give users a great upland and wilderness experience within Central Scotland.

"The existing low-level route, which makes some use of the West Highland Way, will still be available as an easier option."

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