Host a Regional Trail Event

Host an Event on the Chester Valley, Schuylkill River or Struble Trail

Requests are frequently made to host events on Chester County’s regional trails. The purpose of a (SETA) is to explain how agreements are processed.  A  Special Event Trail Agreement (SETA) is required when an activity has the potential to reduce or disrupt the full usage or enjoyment of the trail for others. Any organized activity, which includes or necessitates the deployment of additional county staff, emergency services personnel, or volunteers for the safe and orderly movement of people; the proper use of County resources and other public infrastructure, and involves a higher potential of risk and liability shall require a SETA. It is the County’s goal to assist organizers in planning safe and successful events that create minimal impact on the properties and nearby residents.While we have tried to make this process as simple as possible, please be aware that in addition to Chester County you will need to contact township agencies, specifically for crossings of township roadways, for additional assistance and/ or permits. Contact information is listed below.

To host an event on the Chester Valley TrailSchuylkill River Trail or Struble Trail please read carefully through this document and complete the application. A separate agreement is required to host an event within a Chester County Park.

If you have additional questions please email or call us at 610-344-6415

Please submit the application, along with fee and paperwork during our open application period from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019 for the 2019 season.  

General Information
  • Types of events permitted include walking, running, jogging and biking.
  • Approval of a SETA will occur when application is received and evaluated in addition to all fees are paid.
  • Sponsor can request extra time to prepare event locations. Early site preparations and time must be coordinated through County staff during the application process.

Events Requiring a Portion of the Trail to be Closed to the Public

  • Cannot be scheduled on holidays, holiday weekends, or June – August.
  • Shall not occur before 6:00 AM or after 12:00 Noon.
The Event Applicant
  • The Applicant must be 18 years of age and available to work closely with County staff throughout the process, attend the event and provide a cell phone number  for day of the event
Application Procedure
  • The application process begins with submitting of a fully-completed application. Intake of the application does not imply approval or confirmation of the request.
  • All required documents must be included with the application, along with the $25 non-refundable application fee paid through our electronic system
  • During the application process, the Applicant shall provide all requested documents. These items include but are not limited to certificate of insurance, security/damage deposit, secondary permits.You will be notified if the event requires any additional information or permits. 

  • IRS 501C3 tax exemption letter or proof of tax exempt status must be included with the application.
  • Organizations charging an attendance fee must have a 501C3 status
  • A non-refundable $25 application fee must be paid electronically with the submission of the application.  Additional fees (below) will apply based on the scale of the event. Rates are for non-profit organizations; commercial groups additional fees may apply.
  • All costs incurred by the County in conjunction with the event (i.e. staff support/supervision, equipment, supplies, etc.) shall be reimbursed in full.

R = Resident Rate; NR = Non-Resident Rate

Standard Fee

Additional Staff Costs (if required)
Ranger or Maintenance - $60/hr
Administrative - $75/hr

Insurance Requirements

  • The Applicant is required to provide a certificate of general liability insurance including bodily injury and property damage in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence with an aggregate of $2,000,000 naming County of Chester as an additionally insured. Insurance coverage must be maintained for the duration of the event.
  • An insurance certificate naming municipalities as additionally insured must be submitted.
  • Outside vendors contracted by the Applicant are also required to provide a certificate of liability insurance naming the County of Chester as additionally insured.

Rules & Regulations

  • A Chester County Regional Trail cannot be reserved for the exclusive use of one group. Access to the trail by the general public must be available at all times. Areas may be roped off or otherwise secured if the County grants this as a specified condition, but we cannot guarantee that the public will not enter the event area.
  • Sponsor must comply with all County of Chester Real Estate Rules & Regulations. The County reserves the right to deny any request that does not meet guidelines or policies, or that would unduly interfere with proper trail usage.
  • Events will not negatively impact the trail’s cultural and natural resources. No person shall willfully injure or destroy any cultural or natural resource. No vehicles are allowed on lawns or closed areas.
  • The County, as deemed necessary, may impose special rules, regulations and restrictions.
  • Possession of, or being under the influence of, any illegal drug, alcoholic beverage or controlled substance is prohibited.
  • Events that are deemed too disruptive to the use and enjoyment of the trail will be denied, or may require the proposed event to be modified.
  • Applicant agrees to ensure that all event participants are made aware of all trail rules and event guidelines, and that minors are provided with sufficient adult supervision.
  • To minimize impact on other trail users, events must have a staggered start releasing participants in small groups.
  • Bike helmets are required for participants 12 and under and strongly encouraged for all participants.

Set Up/ Assembly

  • After review of the application, a sketch of the site layout for the event may be requested.
  • Some events may require more than one day for set up or the plan may be too complex to describe on the application form. In these cases, a detailed plan, a timeline listing various times and locations where impact to public property may occur, and dismantling schedule must be submitted. Additional fees may apply.
  • Any request for County personnel support (e.g. labor, equipment, etc.) must be detailed as part of the application, hourly rates for additional County staff applies.
  • The County must approve all uses of existing and/or temporary lighting. Depending on the level and complexity, an illuminating engineer or certified electrician may be required to certify that installation and mountings are safe and secure. Temporary lighting shall be directed away from abutting streets and properties.
  • If limited use of motorized vehicles are needed and approved for set up/breakdown, vehicles must be operated in a manner that is safe and considerate of trail users. This includes yielding to them and observing a maximum speed limit of 15 mph.

Signage/ Promotion/ Advertising/ Marketing

  • If a temporary trail closure is required, the Applicant shall comply with the County’s requirements to publicize any trail restrictions at locations determined by the County at least two weeks prior to the event.
  • All signs must be must be at least 5 feet from the trail and cannot impose any obstruction or danger to trail users.
  • No permanent paint or material may be used to mark the trail or any trail property. All signs must be temporary and removed the day of the event.
  • The County must issue formal approval of the event prior to the start of any promotion or advertisement of the event. Premature advertising of a special event can be grounds for cancellation.
  • Sponsor is required to post notice of events a minimum of 10 days in advance to inform trail users of any potential inconvenience that may occur to them as a result of the event. Flyer design and location for postings shall be approved and directed by the Regional Superintendent or designee.

Parking Plan/ Shuttle Plan/ Mitigation of Impact

  • Parking shall be limited to designated areas and partially determined by event size and start and end points. In some situations, when sufficient parking is not available, a transport/shuttle plan may be required. If offsite parking is required, Applicant is responsible for coordinating efforts with outside agencies. Available parking on Chester County Real Estate will be a limiting factor regarding size and registration capacity of the event.
  • Consider hosting your event registration at a location other than a major trail access area. All tables and booths must be at least 20 feet from the edge of the trail.
  • Applicant will be required to provide adequate volunteers (with safety vests) for the purpose of directing patron parking. In case of younger participants assisting, individuals ages 14 and under are not permitted to be positioned within 35 feet of a roadway or heavily traveled section of the parking facility.
  • For large scale events, Applicant is required to include mitigation plans for negative consequences imposed on others by the event. Notices to media outlets and residents to be affected by the event must reflect the date(s), day(s), time(s), location(s) and type(s) of activity taking place, and provide detour or alternate route information if access is affected. A draft sample of the stated method of distribution and proposed list of recipients must be attached to the application.

Authorized Parking Areas

Chester Valley Trail

  • Trailhead at 140 Church Farm Lane, Exton
  • Trailhead at Warner Road in Lower Marion Township, Montgomery County (managed by Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails & Historic Sites)

Schuylkill River Trail

  • Cromby Trailhead at 829 Township Line Road, Phoenixville 

Struble Trail

  • Trailhead at Norwood Road, Downingtown

Toilet Facilities/ Sanitation & Recycling

  • Applicant is required to provide one portable toilet for every 200 people anticipated. This figure is based upon the maximum anticipated event participants. 
  • Recyclables generated at the event shall be collected and appropriately disposed.
  • Applicant is responsible for all trash, litter, debris, etc. associated with the event. Applicant must make arrangements with County staff to supply an adequate number of trash receptacles, and to have trash and other materials removed from the area periodically during the event and immediately upon its conclusion.
  • Applicant is responsible for leaving the trail in an “as good or better condition” than was found prior to the start of the event. Portable restrooms and/or dumpsters must be removed within 3 days of the event. Failure to perform adequate clean up and/or should damage occur to County property, Applicant will be billed at full cost recovery rates plus overhead for cleanup and repairs.

Food Concessions/ Sale of Goods & Services

  • The selling or offering for sale any goods, services, liquids or edibles for human consumption is prohibited without the proper approvals.
  • The Chester County Health Department provides food service guidelines. These allow the Applicant to plan food handling, preparation and distribution in the most responsible and appropriate manner. Sponsor shall be required to comply with all Health Department guidelines. Chester County Health Department can be reached at 610-344-6225.
  • The Health Department may require permits if food or beverages are to be sold or given away during the event. Applicant must obtain all required permits and to have them available on site during the event.
  • Glass containers are prohibited.
  • All grease and oils from cooking will be removed from site. No illegal dumping of grease or oils on County property, in trash cans, or dumpsters is allowed.
  • No food, liquid, ice, or any other substance may be dumped on County grounds.
  • Contracted vendors shall be required to provide proof of insurance naming the County of Chester.

Entertainment/ Attractions/ Related Event Activity

  • Applicant must ensure that all activities comply with local laws applicable to noise abatement.
  • If music and/or announcements will be broadcast, Applicant must submit a layout map to the event with all site location(s) for all amplified sound systems with application. The volume level should not be audible from a distance of more than 100 feet. If a County official determines noise levels exceeds allowable levels or stimulates the crowd, the event organizers may be required to stop and/or lessen the noise level. Allowable levels are determined by Township ordinances and Chester County guidelines.
  • Banners, signs and similar displays are regulated by rules and regulations. Exterior signs and banners on public roadways may be subject to municipal sign ordinances.
  • The County does not provide electricity.

Internal Security

  • The County may require additional rangers to be on-duty throughout the event, in which additional fees apply.

Security/ First Aid

  • Applicant is responsible for the overnight security of the equipment and event structures.
  • If event staffing or security is present at an event site overnight, an overnight security plan will be required detailing personnel, contact phone numbers, and other pertinent information.
  • Applicant shall provide first-aid station(s) and capable assistance to handle injuries during event. Applicant shall notify the ranger on duty of all injuries.
  • Participants shall abide by Safety Requirements for Trail Events.
  • County staff may make periodic checks to ensure proper utilization of the trail and surrounding areas.
  • Applicant shall comply immediately with all directions or requests made by County staff acting in their official capacity. 

Moving Route/ Street Closures/ Gates & Locks

  • When planning a moving route on or beyond County real estate, the Applicant is required to submit a plan identifying all road crossings, travel routes and closures. The following must be considered in planning the route:
    • - Impedance of emergency (fire, police or paramedic) vehicles
    • - Conflict with public transportation
    • - Safety of participants
    • - Interference with both motorized and/or pedestrian traffic patterns
    • - Inconvenience to other park users
    • - The route with the least impact must be offered as one alternate
    • - No permanent markings allowed
  • Applicant will be required to obtain all traffic safety equipment required. Depending on the event, this may require barricades, traffic cones, signs, etc. Volunteers along the route will be required to wear the current standard visibility vests.
  • Many townships require approval for events that impact their jurisdiction. If required, Applicant must provide proof of approval from these townships. If event crosses roads, Applicant must coordinate with local municipalities responsible for those intersections. See contact information below.
  • Leaving gates open for ease of access may be permitted. They must be closed and locked promptly after the intended use.
  • County staff and/or emergency services may be required to be on site throughout the event.
Accessibility Plan

  • It is the Applicants responsibility to comply with all established disability requirements applicable to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Cancellation/ Weather Policy

  • The County has the right to cancel or shut down an event due to severe weather conditions. Applicant is encouraged to have an Inclement Weather Plan.
  • If you decide to cancel your event, you must notify the Chester County Facilities and Parks Department immediately. No refunds will be issued.

Township Contact Information

Chester Valley Trail

  • West Whiteland Township Police- 610-363-9500
  • East Whiteland Township Police- 610-648-0600
  • Tredyffrin Township Police- 610-644-3221
  • Montgomery County Parks (for Warner Road Trailhead and east of County Line Road)- 610-666-5371

Schuylkill River Trail

  • East Pikeland Township Police - 610-935-0606
  • East Vincent Township Police- 610-933-0115
  • Spring City Borough Police- 610-938-3660
  • East Coventry Township - 610-495-0119

Struble Trail

  • Downingtown Borough Police - 610-269- 0263
  • Uwchlan Township Police- 610-363-6947
  • Upper Uwchlan Township Police- 610-458-5862