In this paper, a robust and stable control strategy is applied to a Festo fluidic muscle actuator, with the objective of trajectory following control. A complete model of this system is not available which leads to unmodeled dynamics and uncertainties. Furthermore, full-state feedback is required for this type of control. However, in practice not all of the states are measurable or available due to cost or availability of instruments, thus a full-state observer is required. The Smooth Variable Structure Filter (SVSF) is a recently introduced robust predictor-corrector method used for state and parameter estimation, and has a form that is able to provide full-state information. In this regard, a new strategy that combines Sliding Mode Control (SMC) with the SVSF is used to control this system. The estimated states from the SVSF are used by the sliding mode controller to obtain a discontinuous control signal. This signal drives the plant to follow a desired state trajectory required by the pneumatic McKibben muscle actuator. Simulation results were generated based on a realistic desired trajectory. The results of the SMC-SVSF control strategy are compared with a tuned PID controller. The described control strategy is able to overcome the nonlinearities present in the system, has a fast response time, and is robust to modeling uncertainties and measurement noise.