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West Highland Way listed in top trails

Posted 17 August 2012
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West Highland Way listed in top trails
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Those who have carried their rucksacks over the 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William via some of Scotland's finest scenery will have thought it, but now it's official - the West Highland Way is one of the best long-distance walks.

National Geographic Magazine has listed the route in its top 20 treks in the world, placing the path alongside the Great Himalaya Trek and the International Appalachian Trail.

Writer Doug Schnitzspahn said: "A truly great trail winds into the essence of a place, so when assembling this list of the world’s great hikes we kept an eye on more than the footpath."

He added that although the route "can feel big and windswept at times " as it passes places like Glencoe with its dramatic Aonach Eagach Ridge, it also possesses "more subtle beauty", which he listed as including the peaty expanse of Rannoch Moor and the shores of Loch Lomond.

Walkers taking on the challenge will certainly need some good walking boots and Ordnance Survey maps, but persistence and dertemination will also be needed to keep going day after day.

But as well as the highlights mentioned, there is much else to enjoy, including views of mountains such as Conic Hill as the Highland fault line is crossed, the southernmost Munro Ben Lomond and the village of Crianlarich, beneath the towering peak of Ben More and its twin Stob Binnein. Here, at the Ben More Inn, stands the West Highland Wall, on which walkers are encouraged to sign their names.

Further north, walkers may enjoy seeing Ben Nevis, not just because it is Britain's highest mountain, but because just beyond it lies the end of the trail in Fort William.

Two years ago the trail was extended by a mile in the Highland village from the end of the Glen Nevis road to Gordon Square in the Town Centre, where a statue of a tired walker sits on the bench, a feeling many who have just completed the way will understand very well.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801431678-ADNFCR