purple marker

There's one type of marker that you may have passed right by in the woods without giving it a second thought.

As KETK reports, however, ignoring this one particular warning sign - even by virtue of just not knowing what it means - can land you at risk with the law, or worse.

Image Credit: Screenshot/KETK

Image Credit: Screenshot/KETK

Reaching as far back as 1989 in Arkansas, the “Purple Paint Law” lets landowners use the color to mark the boundaries of their land, and is tantamount to a “no trespassing” sign in the eyes of the law.

Across the U.S., at least 10 states have such laws on the books, including Texas, as land owner and broker Jonathan Kennedy explains:

“The reason the Texas legislature did that is they were trying to keep landowners from constantly having to replace signs. In Texas as we know, people like to take target practice at signs so they are having to replace them frequently.”

As a more economical and practical way to mark property boundaries, the paint must be “readily visible to any person approaching the property,” and can be placed on fence posts or trees.

While purple seems to be the most widely used color for the law - likely because it stands out in a natural setting and isn't already used by the foresting industry - other states allow orange or even lime green paint to symbolize the same thing.

These states include:

  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Maine
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Arkansas
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • Kansas

So next time you're hunting, fishing, or hiking, keep an eye out for these brightly-colored markings, or you may find yourself up against an angry land owner or even slapped with a first-degree trespassing charge.

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