The traditional start of the West Highland Way is marked by an obelisk in Milngavie’s Douglas Street. From the train station exit, turn left, then go through the underpass and on to Douglas Street. This stage takes you from Milngavie to Drymen.
The obelisk marks mile 0 of 94 and the beginning of your journey. Once a final tightening of the bootlaces, checking of pockets and sip of water have been completed, it is time to put the first step forward and continue onwards through the street and under the West Highland Way arch down the steps and towards the water.
It is important to note that not all way posts will be labelled with “West highland Way”. Following the symbol of a thistle will keep you on the right track.
After passing a few bridges and the town’s library, the last of the houses in Milngavie will come into view and then be passed as the town is left behind and woodland lies ahead. There will be three junctions in fairly quick succession but simply continue to follow the thistle logo. It is likely that the ground has become fairly soft and muddy underfoot by now as the path continues through the woods. Soon you will find yourself on a short stretch of a quiet road before returning to path and exiting the woods at the west side of Craigallan Loch.
From here the path begins to rise slightly and develops into a gentle gradient which heads towards Campsie Fells. Remain on the path as it veers off to the right and goes through several fishing lodges on the banks of Carbeth Loch. The path then intersects with the B821 at which point you should turn left. Follow the road for 400m before turning right and rejoining the footpath with the hopefully now familiar thistle logo.
You will now be heading on a gradual downward slope on what is probably muddy terrain. The path offers views of Dumgoyne and veers right and over Blane Water before following the old railway line and onwards through a number of gates. It will soon be necessary to cross the A81, which can be busy, and also a stopping point which offers some refreshments. The path will take you through mostly arid land now until a further crossing of the A81 leads into some woodland.
After crossing a bridge which takes you over the old railway line, the path for the West Highland Way takes a sharp left and then carries on upwards always slightly travelling to the left until you reach and cross a small bridge before passing some stone cottages. The path will now travel right and the next point of interest is Easter Drumquhassie Farm, which has a camp site. This is important as there are none in Drymen.
After some more gates you will be crossing a large field, which is often very muddy which leads to a path running adjacent to the A811. It is necessary to cross this road, which is often busy before reaching Drymen and the end of the day 1 stage Milngavie to Drymen.