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Welcome to Monroe!

It’s here in the City of Monroe where the Skykomish River slows its descent and adventure begins: river sports, wheels in the dirt, beer in the mugs, theater and arts for the soul and shopping fun.

Monroe is so much more than a refueling pit stop for those who have made it their adventure base camp. Venture off Highway 2 and into a historic downtown core with antique and upcycle vendors, artist driven stores, public art, a bike and sports outfit to gear up before heading out, and, of course, some fine taprooms, restaurants, an artisan bakery, brewery, plenty of lodging and entertainment. 

There are several low-key options for resting your head and recharging your batteries. There are more than 75 vacation rentals by owner via Airbnb and other sites. Falling Water Gardens is an incredibly beautiful 10-acre display garden with water features and a glamping experience to write home about. Make your overnight stay in an informal but clean and comfortable hotel or motel just a few minutes’ walk from the town’s Main Street shops, restaurants and riverfront park. Wake up to fresh brewed coffee, baked goods and a diner breakfast downtown.

When it’s time to get outside, there are several river access points for boaters, paddlers, drifters and fishers. Stay on land and walk some of the 10 miles of trails within the town, including some in the thickly wooded 90-acre Al Borlin Park, whose trails parallel the river. The trails here give way to glimpses of Monroe’s past, revealing pieces of what was once the longest covered railroad bridge in the world, constructed by the Everett and Cherry Valley Traction Company Railway.

If you’re headed into the foothills to take your ATV for a spin, Monroe is one of the few places in the region where street legal ATV’s are welcome on city streets. Gas up, stay over and head out in the morning to Reiter’s Pit, where 4x4’s ATV’s, and dirt bikes all have dedicated and groomed trails with obstacles and tight turns for off-roading fun. 

Like the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Lake Tye is perfect for families and the site of many of the community’s special events, such as outdoor Movies Under the Moon, the Wakeboard World Series, and a triathlon. The 42-acre lake is surrounded by a 64-acre park with sports fields, courts, and beaches. Families fish, teens try their tricks on skateboards in the board and blade park, and walkers, joggers and family pups travel the path around the lake. Equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers gravitate to Lord Hill Park’s 1,480 acres just west of Monroe’s city limits. Within the city there are 200 acres of park land and 10 miles of trails, offering plenty of adventure without heading upstream for mountain fun.

Take a casual art walk through Monroe’s historic downtown.  The city’s official bird, the Vaux’s Swift, has an honorary spot at the northwest corner of Main St and Lewis St (SR 203).  The sculpture is an Instagrammable and iconic Monroe photo opportunity, as are the public murals created by artist David Hose, located throughout the downtown, and the Guardian of the Mountain Pass sculpture by Milo White and Jay Bowen at the southeast corner of Main and Lewis Streets. 

Heritage and History

The remnants of the Skykomish Railroad Bridge pull back the curtain on Monroe’s history as a bustling mill town of European settlers and the fertile foraging ground of the area’s Native American tribes. Monroe was founded in 1902 and named in honor of the United States’ fifth President, James Monroe. The City of Monroe held four sawmills and five shingle mills at the turn of the 20th Century. In 1908, the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company built on city-donated land to condense milk for the Carnation Milk Company.  In the 1950s the building was demolished, but the condenser’s smoke stack remains to greet visitors as another reminder of the city’s blue-collar past. In 1949, Monroe and Snohomish were connected via US 2, opening a direct route from the Salish Sea to the Cascade Mountains. This route bypasses Monroe’s historic core, creating a missed opportunity for those who drive by, and a welcome respite for those who know that Monroe is where their adventure begins!

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