Walkers celebrate “incredible” first year of Magnificent 11 Trail in Glasgow

Ramblers Scotland president Zahrah Mahmood joins volunteers to mark success

1 July 2023

Ramblers Scotland president Zahrah Mahmood joined Glasgow Ramblers and community volunteers today (Sat 1 July 2023) to celebrate the first birthday of the city’s hugely-successful Magnificent 11 Trail.  

The 11-mile waymarked route was officially opened by broadcaster Cameron McNeish last summer after years of hard work by council staff alongside volunteers from Glasgow Ramblers and community groups.   

Since then, it has been enjoyed by hundreds of walkers, nominated for a national award and gained excellent reviews on some of Scotland’s most-visited walking websites.  

Zahrah - known as ‘The Hillwalking Hijabi’ on social media – joined proud locals for a celebratory walk along the trail, which links several green spaces on the southside of Glasgow.  

Glasgow city council ranger Gary Linstead leading a group up a narrow path

Zahrah, who lives in Glasgow, said: “It’s been wonderful to get the chance to walk alongside all the people from across the community who worked together to make this incredible trail a reality. 

“Ramblers Scotland is keen to support more urban trails just like this, as they can boost everyone’s health and happiness while offering a fun, accessible introduction to the outdoors.  

“It’s really important to have quality paths on everyone’s doorstep, particularly in urban areas like Glasgow, where many people don’t have access to cars or to the specialist equipment needed for more challenging routes.” 

The Magnificent 11 Trail links local nature reserves, three city parks, two farms, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Glasgow’s highest point, where walkers can enjoy views to Ben Lomond. 

Glasgow City Council ranger Gary Linstead, who first had the idea for the circular route 15 years before its launch, said: “Through the involvement of volunteers, the Magnificent 11 Trail has brought together people from all parts of the city including members of Glasgow Ramblers, several Friends of groups linked to our parks and individuals who wanted to help. 

“From our Facebook page, we know that the walk has become very popular with walking groups and individuals, many of whom have walked the route several times. Walking the route not only contributes to their own well-being by connecting them with nature but also helps all involved to look after the route. 

“The continuing development of the route in the coming years will continue to encourage local people and visitors to connect with nature." 

For many years, a hardy collection of community volunteers helped establish the route – including building paths, clearing overgrowth, unblocking drains, installing steps, organising group walks and creating maps and leaflets.  

Glasgow Ramblers volunteer Catherine Watt said: “We have a great variety of woodlands, formal and informal parks, and other green and open spaces to explore, but unfortunately opportunities to explore them in a linked way are often limited. 

“The Magnificent 11 takes people well away from built up areas and traffic, to discover the pleasures of natural woodland, burns, rivers and wildlife. It provides opportunities to experience nature and fresh air, and to maintain healthy walking spaces close to an urban environment. 

“Working outdoors to create the trail has added to our enjoyment of the project, with new and old friends meeting in lovely locations, with the occasional picnic and brew. Many people are now walking the route and it is becoming known and enjoyed by people from across the city and beyond.” 

At the route’s official opening last year, broadcast Cameron McNeish said: "It's a great day for Glasgow and a great day for people who enjoy walking in green spaces." 

A map and further route details are available in a new route booklet as well as at glasgowramblers.org.uk/mag11 and on Facebook at facebook.com/Magnificent11Glasgow/  

The route’s development has been led by Glasgow’s Countryside Rangers and Glasgow Ramblers volunteers, but it would not have been possible without the contribution of ‘Friends of’ groups for Linn Park, King’s Park, Fernbrae Meadows and Castlemilk Park. It is also supported by Carmunnock Heritage Society, Carmunnock Community Council and Parklee Farm.  

The route was developed on a modest budget of less than £5,000. Most of this funding came from a Glasgow City Council Wee Green Grant and from Ramblers Scotland. 

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