With fall upon us, everyone's gearing up for hunting season, hiking season, and leafing season. While you're out exploring the wilderness, there's some things you should keep an eye out for, just to make sure you're not putting yourself in a dangerous or unlawful situation.

While you're enjoying that natural Carolinan beauty, you may come across trees marked with purple paint. It's important that you know what this means, and why you should turn around immediately.

Are These Markings Even Important?

The short answer is yes. These markings are able to take place of a warning sign that you should know so you don't end up in legal trouble. Both North and South Carolina have laws with purple paint, so pay attention if you live on the border.


South Carolina Courts Say

According to Section 16-11-600 which outlines the states laws when it comes to trespassing on private property,

(2)    by marking boundaries with a clearly visible purple-painted marking, consisting of one vertical line not less than eight inches in length and two inches in width, and the bottom of the mark not less than three nor more than six feet from the ground or normal water surface. These marks must be affixed to immovable, permanent objects that are not more than one hundred yards apart and readily visible to any person approaching the property.

TSM South Jersey
TSM South Jersey

According to NC Wildlife

In North Carolina, the Landowner Protection Act (H762) "clarifies existing trespass laws, for the purposes of hunting, fishing, and trapping, to specify the requirements for written permission on posted land only."


H762 "Allows landowners to post land using purple paint marks or by placing signs or
posters, as currently allowed."

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Purple paint is able to be used as an alternative to signage to show property lines and private land posting.

There are some rules to how the paint is hung, however.

Each paint mark must be a vertical line of at least eight inches in length, and the bottom of the mark shall be no less than three feet or more than five feet from the base of the tree or post.

Stay safe out there, and stay vigilant so you stay where you're supposed to stay.

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