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In Troup, Texas you could be trespassing on private property and not even realize it. Since the weather has been much nicer and warmer, we're getting out there and exploring and being active. Whether we're discovering new things in the woods near Kilgore or hitting up trails or charging through the woods on ATV's around Jefferson, Texas we could be breaking the law and not even realize it.

While driving along Hwy. 64 to Henderson or along US Hwy 271 to Pittsburg or elsewhere across East Texas you've probably seen fence posts that have been painted purple and wondered what it means. It's an important message meaning 'No Trespassing. While land owners mark the boundary of their property with some kind of fence and then place 'No Trespassing' signs along the fence lines letting those who would want to cut through the land for some reason know that they'll be trespassing if they do. Painting fence posts or trees with a purple band has given them another option while warning others.

Keep an eye out for purple fence posts.

If you see a purple marking on a fence post or tree you'll want to stop in your tracks, don't cross the fence and turn around, and don't proceed any further because you could be fined for trespassing.

Texas Penal Code §30.05, if a property is fenced, posted with at least one sign, or marked with purple paint, it is illegal for anyone to enter. The fine or jail time for trespassing in Texas can be up to $2,000 or up to 180 days.

Because traditional no-trespassing signs may fade, be damaged, or fall off over the course of time, paint is a longer-lasting alternative and is serving as a warning. There are specifics that landowners must follow when it comes to painting things purple. “Vertical lines no less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width, and the bottom of the mark not less than three nor more than five feet from the ground.” The marking must also be placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property on trees or posts “no more than 100 feet apart on forest land or 1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land.”

Known as the 'Purple Paint Law', this law dates back to 1997. So while you're out exploring our great state and you see a purple fence post, don't cross that fence because you could be charged with a Class B or C misdemeanor. Many other states have a similar law.

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