Walter Arthur Smith was an Edinburgh actuary whose major claim to fame for ScotWays is that he led the signposting deputation to the Cairngorms in 1885 that lead to the battle for Jock’s Road which the Society pursued right to the House of Lords and fostered a decade of hectic activity in asserting rights of way and more general rights of access. The report to the Society’s Directors of the Cairngorm’s Signposting Deputation formed the basis of our 175th Anniversary Challenge.
He wrote ScotWay’s first guidebook “The Pentland Hills and Passes” first published in 1885. The maps it contained were drawn specially by Bartholomew and showed both the routes and the locations of some of the Society’s first signposts. He is the author of the first of the Scottish Hill Tracks guides – “Hill Paths, Drove Roads & ‘Cross Country’ Routes in Scotland”, published in 1924. Walter’s book was the forerunner of Donald G Moir’s 2 part Scottish Hill Tracks: old Highways and Drove Roads now in its fifth edition.
He became the Chairman of ScotWays in 1923 and was an Original Member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club in 1889.