Split Rail Fence: A Rustic Modern Fencing Alternative

Published June 4, 2024 | Last updated June 4, 2024

When considering fencing options for your property, the timeless allure of the split rail fence emerges as a rustic favorite that seamlessly blends traditional charm with functional appeal.

Originating as a quintessential choice for property delineation, the split rail fence has stood the test of time, offering a classic aesthetic that evokes a sense of tranquility and pastoral beauty.

Highplains Ranch Rail Wood & Metal Fence

Known for its simplistic yet elegant design, split rail fencing has long been adored by property owners seeking a touch of rustic sophistication to frame their outdoor spaces.

The evolution of the split rail fence from its humble origins to its modern interpretations highlights its enduring popularity and versatility in contemporary landscapes.


With a design that dates back centuries, split rail fencing has transitioned from its traditional zigzag layouts to more refined and durable configurations, offering a blend of rustic aesthetics and lasting durability.

The split rail fence remains a beloved choice for those looking to add a touch of countryside charm while ensuring the safety and security of their outdoor spaces, keeping both pets and wild animals at bay.

What is a Split Rail Fence?

Split rail fences, characterized by their simple yet distinctive design, have long been synonymous with rural landscapes and farmsteads.

These iconic fences are crafted from rugged wooden rails horizontally placed between upright posts, creating an open and inviting boundary for properties.

Historically favored for their straightforward construction and rustic appeal, split rail fences have played a significant role in defining farm boundaries and outlining expansive fields and pastures.

These fences, with their characteristic lack of pickets or panels, exude a sense of openness and transparency that complements the vast, sprawling vistas of farm properties.

The rugged beauty of split rail fences speaks to their durability and longevity, with weathered wood enhancing their rustic charm over time.

Black Highplains Ranch Rail Cedar Fence Black Chain Link

Split rail fence has evolved overtime.

Vast properties have different needs and now, they have plenty of fences to choose from.

Whether used to enclose livestock or whatever industry of farm you have, you can choose what you think is needed – from cattle fences, hog fences, the list goes onto enhance the visual appeal of  your farm landscape.

Split rail fences embody a timeless aesthetic that resonates with those who appreciate the rugged elegance and enduring appeal of traditional farm fencing methods.

The Old Split Rail Fence vs Modern Split Rail Fence

In the realm of ranch landscapes and sprawling acreage, the evolution of the split rail fence from its humble beginnings to modern interpretations showcases a blend of tradition and innovation.

The Old Split Rail Fence

The old split rail fence, with its zigzag pattern and earthy charm, harkens back to a bygone era when farming and ranching were at the heart of rural life.

These fences, often devoid of posts and featuring a back-and-forth layout, served as rustic boundaries that defined acreage and grazing lands, allowing for ease of construction without the need for extensive tools or resources.

The simplicity and practicality of the old-style split rail fence made it a staple in ranch settings, offering a natural and unassuming barrier that withstood the test of time.

Modern Split Rail Fence

In contrast, the modern split rail fence introduces a fresh perspective on this classic fencing style, combining traditional aesthetics with contemporary functionality.

With a focus on durability and longevity, the modern split rail fence caters to the needs of ranch owners and acreage dwellers who seek a low-maintenance fencing solution that can withstand the demands of modern lifestyles.

Highplains Ranch Rail Fence

Within the realm of modern split rail fencing, the HighPlains Ranch Post by FenceTrac emerges as a distinctive and innovative component that elevates the aesthetics and functionality of outdoor spaces.

By incorporating the HighPlains Ranch Post from FenceTrac into modern split rail fencing projects…

Property owners can benefit from a durable, stylish, and cutting-edge fencing solution that combines traditional charm with contemporary design elements.

From its exceptional craftsmanship to its aesthetic appeal, the HighPlains Ranch Post exemplifies FenceTrac’s commitment to quality and innovation, setting a new standard for modern split rail fencing that seamlessly merges form and function in outdoor spaces.

Metal & Cedar Split Rail Fence

Combining metal’s robust durability with cedar’s natural beauty, the metal and cedar split rail fence represents a harmonious fusion of strength and aesthetics.

The Metal & Cedar Split Rail Fence with HighPlains Ranch Post from FenceTrac is a fusion of durability and elegance in outdoor fencing solutions.

Highplains Ranch Rail Fence

The inclusion of the HighPlains Ranch Post enhances both the structural integrity and visual appeal of the fence, combining the strength of metal with the natural beauty of cedar.

Crafted with precision and premium materials, these ranch posts anchor the split rail fence securely while adding a touch of sophistication to its overall look.

This innovative fencing system blends rugged charm with modern design, offering property owners a versatile and stylish option for defining boundaries, enclosing spaces, and enhancing outdoor aesthetics.

The Metal & Cedar Split Rail Fence with HighPlains Ranch Post stands as a testament to FenceTrac’s commitment to quality and innovation.

It showcases a durable and visually striking fencing solution that combines strength with elegance for a seamless and attractive outdoor boundary.

Metal Split Rail Fence Posts

In the realm of split rail fencing, the use of metal split rail fence posts introduces a resilient and long-lasting element to traditional fencing designs.

These metal posts, often crafted from durable materials such as steel or aluminum, serve as sturdy anchors for the split rail fence, providing structural integrity and stability.

Hog Wire Fence Patio Railing

By combining metal split rail fence posts with the HighPlains Ranch Post from FenceTrac, property owners can enjoy a fencing system that embodies both resilience and beauty.

The sleek design of the ranch post complements the industrial look of metal split rail fences, resulting in a visually striking and durable outdoor enclosure.

Whether used for residential, commercial, or public spaces, this innovative fencing solution offers a versatile and customizable option that combines functionality with style.

FenceTrac’s HighPlains Ranch Post represents a commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovative design.

It is setting a new standard in metal split rail fencing that blends practicality with elegance for a cohesive and impressive outdoor boundary.

Split Rail Fence with Black Chain Link

By incorporating the HighPlains Ranch Post into a split rail fence with black chain link, property owners can enjoy a fencing system that combines durability with a touch of elegance.

The sleek design of the ranch post complements the bold aesthetic of black chain link fencing, resulting in a visually striking and robust outdoor enclosure.

Highplains Ranch Rail Black Cedar Fence Chain Link

Whether used for residential, commercial, or industrial applications, this innovative fencing solution provides a versatile and customizable option that marries functionality with modern style.

FenceTrac’s HighPlains Ranch Post stands as a testament to quality craftsmanship and innovative design, setting a new standard for outdoor boundaries that seamlessly blend tradition with contemporary aesthetics.

Whether used to enclose outdoor spaces, secure pets, or add a decorative touch to the landscape, this hybrid fencing solution offers a seamless blend of style and utility.

This makes it a popular choice for property owners seeking a modern and effective fencing alternative.

Split Rail Fence Cost

The cost of a split rail fence can vary depending on several factors, including the materials used, the length and height of the fence, and the complexity of the installation.

Typically, split rail fencing is considered a cost-effective option compared to other types of fencing due to its simplistic design and minimal use of materials.

Ranch Rail Fence Cedar Wood With Metal Posts

The main cost considerations for a split rail fence include the price of the rails, posts, and any additional hardware required for installation.

Cedar and pine are common wood options for split rail fencing, with cedar typically being more expensive due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.

Metal split rail fences may cost more upfront but offer long-term savings in terms of maintenance and longevity.

It’s essential to factor in labor costs if hiring professionals for installation, as well as any permits or site preparation expenses that may be required.

How to Build a Split Rail Fence

Building a split rail fence is a straightforward process that can be achieved with basic tools and materials. Here is a general guide on how to build a split rail fence:

Plan and layout

Determine the area where the split rail fence will be installed and mark the boundaries accordingly.

Consider factors such as terrain, property lines, and any obstacles that may affect the fence’s placement.

Gather materials

Acquire split rails, posts, and any necessary hardware for the installation.

Ensure you have all the tools needed for the project, such as a post hole digger, level, hammer, and saw.

Install the corner posts

Begin by setting the corner posts at the ends of the fence line.

Dig holes deep enough to accommodate the posts, ensuring they are level and securely anchored in the ground.

Set the line posts

Place the line posts at regular intervals between the corner posts, maintaining consistent spacing.

Keep in mind, the interval of the rail fences are much wider unlike semi-privacy fences that has much closer interval. 

If you want to keep animals from trespassing or keep a pet or child inside, use chainlink fence to contain them and to keep the split rail fence style.

Use a level to ensure the posts are plumb and adjust as needed.

Insert the rails

Slide the split rails through the slots or mortises in the posts, starting at one end and working your way along the fence line.

Secure the rails in place with nails or screws to prevent them from shifting.

Finishing touches

Trim any excess rail length, check the fence for stability and levelness, and make any final adjustments as needed.

Consider staining or sealing the wood to enhance its longevity and visual appeal.

Ranch Rail Fence by Empire Fence

Empire Fence’s Ranch Rail Fence is designed to withstand the elements and the test of time…

A reliable option for property delineation, boundary marking, and aesthetic enhancement.

Built to perfection using premium materials and expert techniques, this fencing solution delivers both visual appeal and practical utility.

Whether used to enclose pastures, border gardens, or define outdoor spaces…

The Ranch Rail Fence by Empire Fence offers a seamless integration of traditional charm with contemporary design elements.

It creates a cohesive and visually pleasing addition to any property.

The Ranch Rail Fence stands as a testament to quality craftsmanship and innovative fencing solutions that elevate outdoor environments with grace and style.

Where to Install a Modern Split Rail Fence

When considering the installation of a modern split rail fence, several outdoor spaces prove ideal for this versatile fencing solution.

Residential properties benefit from the rustic charm and practical functionality of modern split rail fences, framing front yards, defining boundaries, and providing a charming backdrop for landscaping.

FenceTrac Cedar Ranch Rail Fence on Metal Posts With Chainlink

In rural landscapes like farms, ranches, or acreages, modern split rail fences seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings, serving purposes such as enclosing pastures.

This creates animal enclosures, and marking property boundaries while maintaining an open and inviting atmosphere.

Public parks, recreational areas, and commercial properties can also enhance their landscapes with modern split rail fences, guiding visitors, protecting sensitive areas, and adding rustic elegance without obstructing views.

For community gardens, green spaces, and urban parks, split rail fences promote a sense of shared responsibility and delineate garden plots while adding to the organic appeal of the surroundings.

Additionally, modern split rail fences serve as stylish and secure pool enclosures for residential and commercial properties, combining aesthetics with safety to create visually appealing barriers around pool areas.

Whether used in residential, commercial, or public spaces, modern split rail fences elevate outdoor environments with timeless charm and modern sophistication, enhancing both the beauty and functionality of outdoor areas.

Watch Highplanes Post & Rail Fencing Video Demo

A Better Way to Design Your Highplains Post and Rail Fence

The FenceTrac fence system offers unlimited fence design possibilities for your highplains post and rail fence.

Our patented fence panel system includes a U-shaped framework into which infill materials can be placed.

This system allows you choose the materials and colors you want to go into the fence panel frame.

FenceTrac Assembly Detail

Side channels bolt to each post with self-tapping screws.


The infill material easily slides into the U-shaped FenceTrac fence panel frame that sits between each post.

The top and bottom channels attach to the side channels to hold everything together.

Each four-piece panel assembles with just four bolts.

Easier to build than live fencing.

Design a Retaining Wall Fence

FenceTrac accommodates infill materials of up to 1-inch thick.

Design your fence with vertical or horizontal slats.

We offer cedar wood and PVC infill options shipped with your kit, but some property owners supply their own infill as well.

Wood Slat Fence
PVC Panel Fence
Luxecore Composite Fence Tropical Teak
Luxecore Composite Fence Harbor Gray
Louvered Wood Slat Fence
Galvanized Pipe Metal
Galvanized Pipe Metal Black
Galvanized Corrugated Metal
Galvanized Corrugated Metal Black
  • Western red cedar
  • Eastern red cedar
  • Cypress boards
  • Treated pine
  • Ipe boards
  • Wood pallets
  • Barn wood
  • Vinyl planks
  • Composite planks
  • PVC planks
  • Hardie board
  • Metal screen
  • Wood rails
  • Black slats
  • White slats
  • Metal sheets
  • Metal panels
  • Perforated metal
  • Etched metal
  • Lattice panels
  • Wood & iron
  • Welded wire
  • Cattle panels
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Corrugated metal
  • Ribbed metal
  • Stone veneer panels
  • Brick veneer panels
  • Bamboo
  • Wrought iron

Modern Split Rail Fence Idea Gallery


Whether your goal is to secure a farm area for your animals or designate an outdoor space as a tranquil, contemporary countryside retreat, a modern split rail fence holds the potential to metamorphose your outdoor surroundings into a serene sanctuary.

For your next fencing project, we recommend exploring Highlands FenceTrac fence kits!

Through the diverse customization and adaptability options presented by FenceTrac, you have the opportunity to breathe life into your design concepts and enhance the aesthetics of your property with an elegant and efficient split rail fence.

Embrace the charm and functionality of a split rail fence to enrich your outdoor living experience and craft a space that mirrors your individual style and preferences.

Request a Quote Today

Embarking on the construction of a split rail fence is a fulfilling project that enhances the appeal of any outdoor area.

Therefore, enhance your property by installing a new split rail fence.

Check out FenceTrac and select the HighPlains tab on the pricing to request an instant online quote!

A meticulously constructed split rail fence can act as a long-lasting enhancement to any outdoor setting.

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