Parks & Recreation

Piedmont Environmental Center

1220 Penny Road (get directions)
High Point, NC 27265
(336) 883-8531
(336) 883-8537 (fax)

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From time to time this facility will be closed due to weather, maintenance, or private events.  Other events and programs may be changed or cancelled.  Please click on the "Closings, Cancellations & Changes" tab on the left of this page for more information.

Center hours of operation:
  Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm

Trails hours of operation:  Open 7 days a week from sun up until sun down.

Friends of PEC
Trail Maps

School Brochure - Environmental Education Classes and Field Experiences
K-3rd Grades, 3rd-5th Grades, Middle & High School

Summer Camp Registration Form  Includes 1 & 2 day camps and weekly camps
Advanced Summer Camp Application

Piedmont Environmental Center provides programs and a place to learn, conserve and enjoy the natural world through hands on experiences emphasizing the interrelated and fragile nature of life. 

In 1972, a group of concerned citizens worked with the City of High Point to secure property PECadjacent to High Point City Lake Park as a plant and animal preserve. Within a short time, a trail system was established and the first environmental education programs in Guilford County were offered at the site.

On the see this term throughout our class descriptions. PEC's mission is to get students outside. The 11 miles of foot trails and Bicentennial Greenway pass through 376 acres of beautiful hardwood and pine forests and lakeside habitats. There are three primary loop trails used during classes, each about three-quarters of a mile in length.

Design features of the main building include active & passive solar technology, tower ventilation, natural lighting, recycled aluminum roof, recycled PVC carpets, recycled auto glass bathroom tiles, reused bricks and much more. A wrap-around covered deck provides shade for lunch and shelter from rainy weather. Inside you will find a lobby for check-in, maps and information, small exhibits, an auditorium, classroom and restrooms.

The PEC's North Carolina Mapscape Exhibit is a 70' x 30' walk-on topographic relief map Mapscaperepresenting North Carolina and the surrounding states. Mountains, valleys, islands, rivers and other geographic features are carved into the concrete surface allowing visitors and students to see the "big picture" of how these features interrelate and influence human communities. Brass monuments on the Mapscape identify major cities and historical sites.

We offer special field experiences and classes for students from Kindergarten through High School. Teachers can contact the PEC for class details to reserve a date for their students. Maximum number of students at PEC is 75. For groups larger than 75, please look to arrange two days. PEC presents classes rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, staff Naturalists are prepared with alternative class experiences within the curriculum framework and appropriate to the attending grade level. In the case of severe weather alerts or forecasts, a PEC Naturalist will contact the school to discuss options.

In addition to our programs for school groups, PEC offers programs, trips and camps throughout the year for individuals and groups of all ages. Call PEC for more information.

Current Programs

Herpetology Camp - ages 8-12
Monday, Tuesday
August 17, 2015 - August 18, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$60 per person - members; $95 per person - non-members (per session)
Deadline for enrollment: One week prior to session start date
Campers spend two days studying snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders under the supervision of professional Naturalists. Using a variety of survey and observation techniques, campers will explore all the "Herp" habitats at PEC and practice safe ways to study reptiles and amphibians.


Kayak Class for Beginners to Advanced Beginners - ages 16-70
August 15, 2015
9a.m.-4p.m.  Fee:$30 per person
Deadline for enrollment: 8/12
Are you interested in learning how to kayak, or further develop your kayaking skills? This class is a comprehensive introduction to coastal and lake kayaking, and provides a good review for the advanced beginner. Topics include safety first principles, equipment and boat design, weather considerations and tides, transporting your kayak, entering and exiting a kayak safely, wet exits and reentries, types of rescues, edging your kayak, and 8 basic strokes. The class includes all necessary equipment. Participants must dress to get wet. Instructor is a certified level 3 coastal kayak instructor with the American Canoe Association.


Spider Discovery Hike
September 19, 2015
8:30-10:30a.m.  Learn about the fascinating lives of these interesting animals. Participants will learn to identify the common spiders of the Piedmont, their biology and habitat. We will also discuss their role as predators in the ecosystem.


Summer Nature Adventure Camp - ages 7-12
August 3, 2015 - August 7, 2015
August 10, 2015 - August 14, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m. (Monday-Thursday); 8:30a.m.-12p.m. (Friday)  Fee:$145 per person/per week - members; $180 per person/per week - non-members (per session)
Deadline for enrollment: One week prior to session start date
Our camps are specifically designed for children who have a sincere interest in nature and the environment. Camps focus on environmental education and are filled with engaging activities and events that foster an understanding of natural history. There is an optional overnight stay on Thursday.


High Point Parks & Recreation Department
136 Northpoint Avenue • High Point, NC 27262 • (336) 883-3469 • Fax - (336) 883-8524

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