Bruce Dunlavy (Trail name: Ishmael) is a hiker and volunteer who is active in many parts of the A.T. community. He first became interested in the A.T. while living in Boiling Springs, PA. He met many of the hikers who regularly pass through that A.T. community and, drawn to the openness that he sensed from long distance hikers, he began to get more involved with local hikers and Trail clubs.
Hiking the A.T., particularly his 1996 thru-hike, strengthened Bruce’s commitment to the Trail. As a hiker, he learned to appreciate firsthand the efforts of the many members of the A.T. community who keep the Trail going, and that, as well as his friendship with Earl Shaffer (the first thru hiker), inspired him to become more involved with the A.T. Now, Bruce considers himself part of a larger A.T. community that includes hikers and volunteers and coming together in support of the Trail.
Bruce has served as host for hikers passing through town, and given presentations about hiking at local high schools. He is a volunteer Trail maintainer for the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club (CVATC). He also lends his carpentry skills to larger projects organized by CVATC and the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club (SATC), and has helped build boardwalks, bridges and shelters. Recently, he participated in a project that helped to save a part of A.T. history: the preservation of the Earl Shaffer Shelter on Peter’s Mountain, Pennsylvania. ATC thanks Bruce for all his support of the A.T.!