If You See Orange Paint in the Woods in Idaho, You Need to Leave ASAP
If you grew up running Cross Country, you likely think that orange paint on a tree, post or ground was an indication of a hazard ahead. That's not exactly what it means in Idaho. Ignore that fluorescent paint and you could end up paying some hefty fines!
There are a few websites out there incorrectly claiming that Idaho has something called a "Purple Paint Law" similar to one that went into effect in Arkansas in the late '80s. Supposedly purple paint is an indication of "NO TRESPASSING" and crossing into an area marked with it means you're somewhere you don't belong. We searched and searched for anything in Idaho's laws and statutes to verify that purple paint was an indication of no trespassing in our state and came up empty-handed.
You know why we came up empty-handed? Because it's actually ORANGE paint that indicated "NO TRESPASSING" in Idaho! Under Idaho Law, private landowners may tell people they're not welcome by marking all property corners and boundaries where the property intersects navigable streams, roads, gates and rights-of-way entering the land with florescent orange paint instead of no trespassing signs. If that private land borders public land, you'll likely see orange paint on the fence posts adjoining the public land.
Cross into an area marked with orange paint? Well, it could cost you quite a bit! If you're found guilty of criminal trespassing without causing damage, you could face a fine of $300. If you DO cause damage, it's even worse. You're looking at up to six months in jail or a fine anywhere between $1500-$5000. That jail time and fines get worse if you're a repeat offender.