Starting from Strathblane - around 15 mins drive from Appletree Cottage
The first section of the route is a slow gentle climb out of Strathendrick. Nothing too severe - remember this was a railway and so any gradients were minimal. Trees overhang this pretty path and there are few people around - only the occasional dog walker.
What we are cycling is actually part of Sustrans Cycle Route 755 which runs from Strathblane to Kirkintilloch using the former railway trackbed.
It is not long until we are away from Strathblane and out of the trees into the wide open beginnings of Campsie Glen. The Campsie hills and Ballagan Burn are on the left as we cycle along, and on the right is the distinctive volcanic plug of Dunglass.. (See first/top photo) This basalt lump is popular with climbers despite much of its rock being in a loose and a little dangerous to the inexperienced.
Its a glorious day and the views are far and fantastic. The fields either side of the track are mostly put to grass for livestock with the occasional arable. The track itself is smooth tarmac and wide enough to two to cycle side by side.
Some of the signs refer to the Thomas Muir Way, obviously not to be confused with the John Muir way. Thomas Muir the Younger of Huntershill was a Scottish political reformer and lawyer (1765-1799). Known as the "Father of Democracy" more can be found out about his life here: www.theglasgowstory.com/story/?id=TGSCH12
John Muir or "John of the Mountains" on the other hand is credited for initiating the National Parks movement in the United States of America. More can be found out about John Muir here; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir
Soon we reach Kirkintilloch where we lunch in the lovely Nonna's Restaurant and Bar picturesquely set beside the Forth and Clyde canal. After an excellent meal we jump back on our bikes and make our way back to Appletree Cottage.