If you're out camping, hiking, hunting or just out exploring in the woods or rural areas and suddenly you come across something with purple paint on it, police say you need to leave.

camera in woods
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Purple Paint Law

So if you see purple paint, does it mean you've stumbled into a trap set by a crazy family of cannibals who want to make you into BBQ? Probably not, or at least I hope not, but it does mean you might be breaking the law.

The law is called the "Purple Paint Law". The purple paint is the legal equivalent of a "No Trespassing" sign.

In 2018 Governor John Bel Edwards signed the "Purple Paint Law" for Louisiana. Other "Purple Paint Law" States include Kansas, Arizona, Montana, Arkansas, Idaho, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois.

Phil Nye/TSM
Phil Nye/TSM

What Does Purple Paint in the Woods Mean?

The reason for it? The "Purple Paint Law" spares "landowners, particularly in rural areas, from having to continually replace printed signs that often end up being stolen or eradicated by the elements" according to snopes.com.

The reason for choosing purple paint is because it sticks out, and even people who are colorblind can usually see the color purple.

Louisiana’s law states that the purple paint should be in vertical lines, no less than eight inches wide and at least three feet above the ground.

Here is the official wording of Louisiana's "Purple Paint Law" -

Although not required by this Section, notice that entrance upon any structure, watercraft, movable, or immovable property owned by another is prohibited may be indicated by either of the following:

            (1) A sign or signs posted on or in the property at a place or places where such sign or signs may be reasonably expected to be seen.

            (2) The placement of identifying purple paint marks on the trees or posts on the property, provided that such marks are:

            (a) Vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width.

            (b) Placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground nor more than five feet from the ground.

            (c) Placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than one hundred feet apart on forest land, as defined in R.S. 3:3622, or one thousand feet apart on land other than forest land.

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