There’s one type of marker that you may have passed right by in the woods without giving it a second thought. 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. DON’T MISS: Young Couple Shuns City Life to Pursue their Dream of Freedom & Simplicity In some U.S. states, if you’re hiking around outside, and stumble across a purple fence, it’s not for decoration. There’s an actual meaning behind it. It means “No Trespassing” on remote and private properties.
“It holds the same weight and the same law violations apply,” says Prairie View A&M Extension Agent Ashley Pellerin. “It’s no trespassing period.” The color purple was used because those who are colorblind can still see it. The law says the vertical purple markings must be clearly visible, and should be 8 inches long by 1 inch wide. As a more economical and practical way to mark property boundaries, the paint must be “readily visible to any person approaching the property”. Some property owners apply the purple paint to trees if there isn’t a fence around. It works “just as a green light means go and a red light means stop,” according to the University of Missouri.
Why a Purple Fence?
The concept of purple fence started in Arkansas in 1989 as a way for property owners to warn the public of private land. The state of Texas adopted a similar law in 1997. And now, across the U.S., more than 10 states have such laws on the books. These states include:
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
The following states use fluorescent orange:
The following state uses bright blue:
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 landowner or even slapped with a first-degree trespassing charge. Related: 7 Things You Need to Immediately Stop Doing When Camping Source: IJReview, SFGlobe