Purple is one of my daughters' favorite colors, but it turns out the color purple has a pretty important meaning for landowners in Illinois.

Have You Seen Purple Paint on a Fence Post in Illinois? Here’s What it Means
Cara Prichard via YouTube

Have you ever taken a hike, a jog, or a bike ride and come across a randomly placed post painted purple? Perhaps you were hunting and came across one? Or maybe you saw a fence with purple-painted posts and thought, hmm....these people must really like the color purple? Well, that is not the message the posts and fences are meaning to convey.

What Do Purple Posts Mean in Illinois?

The "Purple Paint Law" has been in effect in Illinois since 2011, and allows "Illinois landowners or lessees the option of using purple paint markings on trees or posts on their property as a 'no trespassing' notice" according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. 

If you happen to be a "get off my lawn" guy or gal and are thinking painting all your fences posts purple sounds like a grand idea, please note that the Purple Paint Law does not apply to all Illinois homeowners and has to be done specifically in order to be legal. According to illinois.gov, all purple posts must be:

1. A vertical line of at least 8 inches in length.  The bottom of the mark shall be between 3 feet and 5 feet high.  Each mark shall be no more than 100 feet from another such mark and be readily visible to any person approaching the property.


2. A post capped or otherwise marked on at least its top 2 inches.  The bottom of the cap or mark shall be between 3 feet and 5 feet 6 inches high.  Posts so marked shall be no more than 36 feet apart and be readily visible to any person approaching the property.  Prior to applying a cap or mark that is visible from both sides of a fence shared by different property owners or lessees, all such owners or lessees must agree to the decision to post their own property.

Something else I found kinda interesting about this law; purple was chosen as "the" color because it is highly visible in the midst of a forest, and it can also still be seen by many visually impaired people. FYI, all you hunters and campers, Illinois is not the only state that has this law in effect...

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