About Avid Trails

Honing the craft of trails planning, design and construction.

Avid Trails is a planning, design and construction firm founded in 2014 by a group of passionate outdoor enthusiasts and experienced trail builders. Our team members have extensive experience in all facets of trail planning, design and construction in both the public and private sectors. We work with real estate developers, municipalities, parks and rec departments, government agencies and conservancies to design, plan and construct thoughtful and sustainable trail systems for hikers, mountain bikers, and a variety of other users. 

Our team believes deeply in the benefits of spending time outdoors, and it’s our mission to provide ample opportunities for people to experience nature by way of functional, unique and engaging trail systems. 

From the mountains to the coasts, to the prairies in between, we’ve designed and built trails all over America. We know every region is unique, and we take great care to study the terrain, and all those who will be using the trails. 

We’re grateful to have awesome projects and clients, and humbly, we believe they genuinely like working with us too.

Give us a shout to discuss your next project.

Our Core Team

Justin Lax

President

Justin Lax is a founding partner and the President of Avid Trails, a national planning and design firm specializing in fitness and transportation trail systems for communities, parks and municipalities. Justin founded Avid Trails with a group of partners who share his vision for bringing better trail systems to communities across the country. His approach centers around creating thoughtful, connected and interesting trail systems that help get people moving and spending time outdoors. Justin is actively involved in all aspects of the business, including planning and design, operations, construction management, research and development, and community activation.  

Justin’s robust experience in trail construction as both a volunteer and professional results in a deep understanding of trail constructibility and feasibility. This helps to inform all planning and design work completed by the firm. 

Justin serves on the Board of Trustees for the Hunterdon County YMCA where he focuses on initiatives that help kids and families reconnect with the outdoors. He is also a past Board Member of the Professional Trail Builders Association, the world’s only professional organization dedicated to advancing the trail building industry. Finally, Mr. Lax is a member of the Urban Land Institute and sits on the Community Development Council.  

Prior to founding Avid Trails, Justin worked as a real estate brand strategist, advising a wide variety of clients on brand strategy, visioning, positioning, programming, amenity strategy, and several other facets of community. His unique perspective on the marketing, promotion, activation and user engagement helps clients maximize their ROI by telling a more compelling story. 

Justin is based in Lambertville, NJ with his fiancé Amanda where they frequent the D&R Canal State Park multi-use path and other local trails. He is an Avid hiker, mountain biker and off road motorcyclists. Justin is a graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a degree in communications.

Jay Hoeschler

Design Director

Jay Hoeschler is a founding partner of Avid Trails. He heads up a team of environmental, GIS, landscape and graphic designers who thoughtfully consider every aspect of the trail experience. His design expertise includes trail types and alignments, signage and wayfinding systems, trailhead kiosks, bridges and water crossings, interpretive displays and graphics, fitness stations, and adventure obstacles. 

Jay has a particular affinity for designing and building bike-optimized trails and features, including flow trails, downhill, XC, skills obstacles, jump lines and pump tracks. 

In an attempt to practice what he preaches, he is a dedicated mountain biker, road cyclist, swimmer, surfer, hiker, and competitive triathlete. He does all this so he can enjoy craft beer with (mostly) zero guilt.

Jay serves as Planning Commissioner for his home town of El Segundo, CA. He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, and serves on its Residential Neighborhood Development Council. He is a member of the Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA), as well as the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). He also serves on the board for Tour de Pier, an annual charity spin bike event that raises millions each year to fight cancer.

He studied design at University of Arizona, and completed his AA at Colorado Institute of Art, where he was awarded Best Portfolio in his graduating class.

Troy Duffin

Technical Director

Troy Duffin is a bonafide trail advocate, designer, builder and user, having built over 600 miles of trail in his career. For nearly twenty-five years, Troy has been planning and constructing the most unique trail systems in the United States. An avid hiker and mountain biker himself, Troy has served as a citizen activist and advisory board member of the Truckee Trails Foundation (CA), as Executive Director of the Mountain Trails Foundation (UT), President of the rapidly growing Professional Trail Builders Association and on the board (and as board Chair) of the nation’s preeminent trails organization, American Trails. His numerous accolades include the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) Trail Hero Award. Troy is a longtime member of the Professional Trailbuilders Association.

Zach Perdue

Spatial Analyst

Zach Perdue brings a wealth of planning, design and technical expertise to the team.  He is an advanced spatial analyst and trails planner, leveraging the technologies of a GIS and 3D modeling software to inform and guide the masterplan process and bring project visions to life.  Mr. Perdue draws on a broad range of software experience and comprehension of spatial data to apply unique, efficient and effective solutions that surpass project objectives.  In the course of his 20+ year professional career, he has employed his diversified skillsets in the planning and permitting realms of the mountain resort and recreation industries for both warm- and cold-weather trail systems, participating in numerous master development plans and environmental reviews of project proposals. Zach has regularly served as a third-party consultant to local, State and Federal Agencies such as the USFS in reviewing and preparing a variety of technical analyses and reports, master development plans and construction plans and documentation for field implementation. Zach’s duties include:

• Lead GIS technician
• Lead cartographer & spatial analyst
• Trail planning and design
• 3D modeling & visualization

Residing in the Vail valley of central Colorado, Zach is an avid hiker, biker, snowboarder and paddler and is guaranteed to have at least one camera on him at any given time.  

Tim Garrett

Landscape Architect

Tim’s love of the outdoors began on the trails and ski slopes of northern New Jersey, and he’s been riding or fixing bikes and trails ever since. Tim’s professional work includes the design of trails, parks, playgrounds, outdoor fitness, urban development, higher education campuses, and green infrastructure. Tim brings his training and experience as a Registered Landscape Architect to Avid Trails projects with a focus on creating engaging, memorable places that facilitate interaction with the environments we live and recreate. Tim is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Kim Santerian

Office Manager

Kim is an experienced office administrator, with an entrepreneurial spirit, who takes pride in providing timely, accurate and organized information to help the Avid team run smoothly.  Sorting out projects, processes and people is her focus and she is here to answer all of your administrative needs.  If Kim is not at the computer working you will find her cheering from the sidelines at one of her kid’s events, on the tennis court, exploring nature trails or at the beach with her family.

Can your project become a Trails First community?

With the enormous popularity of trails and outdoor recreation, trails shouldn’t be an afterthought in your community.
Here are ten Trail Tenets we use to help you plan for your best trail system.

Here, trails are not just an amenity. They are the connective tissue of the community.

Our trails are legit. Not just a marketing play. 

Trail users are diverse. Our trails will be too. 

Nature is the new luxury. Our trails will provide a recharging experience.

Trails are the human-scale connection to life in our community.

Our trail system will remind residents to leave the car at home. 

Our trails will be a reflection of the surrounding environment.

Inventive wayfinding will help us find our place. 

Our trails will be an experience. Not just a linear connection.

When you live here, your front door is your trailhead.

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