Originally part of a parcel of land sold by the Earl of Granville, Piney Lake is a recreation center owned by the University consisting of 40 acres. The property was acquired in 1956 and is located approximately nine miles south of the campus near US Highway 421.
Piney Lake was managed by the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) from its opening until 1976. After nearly twenty years of management by part-time staff, in Spring 1975, the decision was made by head of HPER to hire a full-time director for Piney Lake at the salary of approximately $10,000 per year. Soon thereafter, management responsibilities transferred to the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism in 1976, but programming and use of the facilities remained the same.
It has been used as a retreat facility, a private camp, and a recreational facility for students and faculty.