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John Muir Day: 14 facts and stats about Scots-born US conservationist

It's John Muir Day, which celebrates the legacy of Scottish-American conservation pioneer, naturalist and author John Muir. Here are 14 facts about John Muir.

John Muir. Credit: National Park Service.

1. Muir was born in Scotland in a coastal town of Dunbar in East Lothian.

2. He emigrated with his family to America in 1849.

3. Muir died in a Californian hospital in California on Christmas Eve 1914 at the age of 76.

4. He is known by some great names: "John of the Mountains", the "Father of America’s national parks" and "patron saint of the American wilderness".

5. Thanks to Muir's lifetime of activism he played a major part in the preservation and conservation of many US wilderness areas, including Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park.

A statue of John Muir in Dunbar. Credit: Jennifer Petrie

6. John Muir was the founder of American conservation organisation, the Sierra Club.

7. Muir achieved other amazing feats, such as walking 1000 miles fromIndiana to Florida in 1867. This is documented in his book, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf.

8. In America a long distance walking trail remembers his name. The 211-mile (340 km) John Muir Trail is found in the Sierra Nevada.

9. In Scotland, the John Muir Way is a coast-to-coast trail of 134 miles (215km). Many people walk, run and cycle the route from Helensburgh on the west coast to Dunbar on the eats coast. Highland Transfers can support you if you want to complete the John Muir Way.

John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen Colorado. Credit: Lorie Shaull

11. John Muir’s name is also remembered in America at the Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College and Mount Muir, all of which are in California.

12. Muir Glacier is located in Alaska.

13. On April 21, 2013, the first ever John Muir Day was celebrated in Scotland. It also marked the 175th anniversary of his birth.

John Muir Way in Scotland.

14. Inspiring things said by John Muir:

  • The mountains are calling and I must go.

  • In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

  • Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

  • Wildness is a necessity.

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