One collection of 29 routes – extending to more than 1,900 miles – is officially known as Scotland’s Great Trails.
To be included in this list, which is collated by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the trail must be at least 25 miles long, waymarked, largely off-road and include a range of visitor services.
The most famous is the original long-distance trail, the West Highland Way. The 96-mile route, opened in 1980, annually attracts 120,000 walkers, of whom at least 36,000 traverse the entire route.
Caroline Fyfe, SNH strategic paths officer, said: “Whether you choose one of Scotland’s great trails or another, the routes provide great opportunities to explore the best of Scotland’s nature and landscape, and to experience our amazing history and culture.”
Here are 10 trails to try…
West Island Way
Distance: 27 miles
Start/finish: Port Bannatyne (above), Bute
Getting there: Reach the Isle of Bute by CalMac ferry from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay
Opened in 2000 and one of a handful of long-distance trails on the islands. The route crosses a variety of landscapes, including seashore, moorland, farmland and forest.
In fine weather, walkers are treated to vistas across the sea to the Isle of Arran and the Cowal peninsula, as well as the ever-changing landscapes of Bute, thanks to the Highland Boundary Fault which runs through the island.
The trail divides naturally into four stages.
The town of Port Bannatyne lies at its mid-point, and it is usually walked over two days or four half-days.
Arran Coastal Way
Distance: 65 miles
Start/finish: Brodick, Arran
Getting there: CalMac ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick
A fairly challenging route with plenty of scenic and wildlife rewards.
The route links 12 coastal villages, accommodation and local food. You can walk the route over a week or, if you have the stamina, over a long weekend.
Fife Coastal Path
Distance: 116 miles
Getting there: Kincardine is on the A985, accessed via the M90 or M9
Starting from the Firth of Forth and ending on the Firth of Tay, the coast-hugging route takes around eight to 10 days to walk with terrain varying from level shoreline paths to wild and rocky beaches.
It passes through former coal mining towns, fishing villages of the East Neuk and the home of golf, St Andrews. You’ll also have a great view of the three iconic bridges that span the River Forth.
The scenery includes sandy beaches, nationally-important estuaries, wildlife reserves, farms and woodland.
The Kintyre Way
Distance: 100 miles
Getting there: Tarbert is on the A83, two hours from Glasgow by road
Taking around seven days, this route heads south on the Kintyre Peninsula from Tarbert on Loch Fyne to the sandy beach of Machrihanish.
It’s a wild yet accessible trail and, as it zigzags down the peninsula, it offers panoramas east to the Firth of Clyde and to Arran, and west to Islay, Jura and Gigha.
The Cateran Trail
Distance: 64 miles
Start/finish: From Blairgowrie, there is a seven-mile spur to reach Bridge of Cally.
Getting there: Blairgowrie is reached on the A93 north of Dundee or Perth
The circuit passes through the Perthshire and Angus glens, located in the heart of Scotland. Some of the paths follow ones used by the Caterans – cattle thieves who roamed Strathardle, Glen Shee and Glen Isla from the Middle Ages to the 17th Century.
The circuit takes four to five days to walk, although you could choose to do the 20-mile Cateran Mini Trail over a two-day adventure, from Kirkmichael to Lair. It includes the trail’s highest point over Strathardle and Glenshee and visits the remains of hut circles and Iron Age buildings.
Borders Abbeys Way
Distance: 66 miles
Start/finish: Melrose, Scottish Borders
Getting there: Melrose is close to the Borders Railway terminus at Tweedbank
The five-day circular walk charts a route through historic towns and villages of the Scottish Borders and visits the impressive ruined abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh, as well as passing Abbotsford House, the home of Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).
The green and rolling scenery includes long sections alongside the rivers Tweed and Teviot, as well as fairly rugged hills.
Great Trossachs Path
Distance: 30 miles
Start: Inversnaid, Loch Lomond
Finish: Callander, Stirlingshire
Getting there: B829 from Aberfoyle, then minor road west to Inversnaid.
Links Loch Lomond with the Trossachs, passing through the remote settlements of Brig o’ Turk and Stronachlachar and alongside beautiful Loch Katrine.
The route is very obviously split in two.
The longer first day from Inversnaid to Trossachs Pier leaves Loch Lomond to walk alongside Loch Arklet and Loch Katrine, which is home to the steamship Sir Walter Scott.
A shorter day of 12 miles to Callander traces a route through forestry south-west of Loch Achray and along the northern shore of Loch Venachar.
Great Glen Way
Distance: 77 miles
Start: Fort William
Getting there: There are regular trains to Fort William and from Inverness.
Runs the length of Scotland’s longest glen as it follows a natural faultline, which divides Scotland from coast to coast.
The average time taken to walk the route is seven to nine days, with most people starting at the ruins of the Old Fort, Fort William, close to the base of the UK’s highest mountain of Ben Nevis.
Waymarkers take walkers along the Caledonian Canal, on forest tracks and on old drover roads.
It also passes beside three lochs, Lochy, Oich and, the most famous, Ness – boasting fabulous views of surrounding mountains.
The route ends at Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, at Inverness Castle.
Cape Wrath Trail
Distance: 230 miles
Start: Fort William
Finish: Cape Wrath, Sutherland
Getting there: There are regular trains to Fort William. The return requires a bus and ferry back to Durness and then a bus to Inverness for other transport connections. See traveline.info
An unofficial, unmarked and magnificently wild long-distance route from Fort William to Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point of mainland Scotland.
It’s for experienced hikers and requires good navigational skills and wild camping. However, the rewards are breathtaking vistas, including high mountains, remote moorlands and endless lochs. There is a choice of routes with popular variations starting via Glenfinnan and via the Great Glen.
John Muir Way
Distance: 134 miles
Start: Dunbar, East Lothian
Finish: Helensburgh, Argyll
Getting there: The start and finish points, as well as many locations on the route, are accessible by train.
Crosses Scotland from east to west, or vice versa, taking between 10 and 14 days, and it’s possible to walk shorter sections.
Muir was born in Dunbar and left Scotland for America as a child. He went on to become a leading conservationist and founder of America’s national parks.
The route takes in coast, open countryside and a long stretch of canal towpath between Edinburgh and Glasgow. You can also see The Kelpies at Helix Park, near Falkirk.