If You See Purple Paint on a Fence Post or Tree Walk Away

Maybe you’re out hiking, walking, driving, or hunting. No matter what you’re doing, if you see a fence post painted purple, here’s why you need to turn around and walk away.

According to Wide Open Spaces, the purple paint is not about adding a little flair or fun, but rather a “no trespassing” warning. While signs are still around as well, they can easily fall down, so this is the legal way for landowners to get their point across. But there’s more to those purple posts than just a simple “stay off my property.” According to Pennsylvania State University, purple stripes painted on trees count as well, and if you ignore them, you can be arrested for criminal trespassing.

According to the World Population Reviews website, 20 states have passed what’s called the Purple Paint Laws (however people in states that haven’t passed the law yet still may take advantage of its meaning).

World Population Review

World Population Review


Basically, landowners can officially make it illegal to trespass on their property. It’s aimed mostly at hunters. This alerts them that hunting is prohibited in that area, whether that’s because hunting is illegal or the land is privately owned.

Even though any color of purple paint means no trespassing is allowed, there is actually a purple paint color called “No Hunting Purple,” according to Wide Open Spaces. The post doesn’t have to be completely painted for New Hampshire and Maine’s Purple Paint Law, but it must definitely be noticeable.

According to Wide Open Spaces, Arkansas passed the first Purple Paint Law, and since then, another 19 states have slowly enacted it themselves.

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