photo of Ranoch Moor
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Cultural Landscapes

The 'Cultural Landscape' of the West Highland Way is the result of different aspects of man's intervention with natural vegetation and the landscape resulting from a long co-existence. The landscapes is not stable, and the recent and ever accelerating changes in technology and life-style have increasingly affected many ancient landscapes, as old land-use practices are abandoned and traditions forgotten.

The West Highland Way makes use of some ancient and historic routes of communication, such as Drove Roads, Military Roads and Disused Railway Tracks.  In addition there is evidence along the route of industries and cultures which have passed into history.

Much of the first stage of the Way follows the path of the Blane Valley Railway which once linked Glasgow to Killearn and Aberfoyle.  Sadly, it fell to Dr Beeching's axe in 1951.  The Beech Tree Inn at Dumgoyne was once a station on this line.