Monroe's Lake Tye definitely qualifies as a lowland lake. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife pegs the lake's elevation at a mere 29 feet, and many visitors do come here to fish (the lake is stocked with trout and bass.) A wide paved trail, officially 1.63 miles long, encircles the lake for use by hikers and joggers (it's also wheelchair-accessible.) The trail is never more that a few feet above lake level so elevation gain is not an issue here.
Begin your hike at the parking area at the SE corner of the lake. You can see most of the lake from here. Head west past the picnic area toward the lake's SW corner where the trail bends around toward the north. The western boundary of the lake is straight, a reminder that Lake Tye is an engineered lake, not a natural one. This part of the trail closely follows the route of a power line, and you will pass by an occasional wooden pole along the way. The western edge of the trail is bordered by tall grasses, and beyond that a lot of non-native blackberries. There are not a lot of trees here, or anywhere in the park.
In the spring you will notice blooms of buttercups, plus an occasional wild mustard and a few yellow flag irises (yellow hues seem to dominate the flora at Lake Tye.) When autumn arrives, some fall colors can be enjoyed.
Cattails are common along the edge of the lake, and often provide perches for redwing blackbirds whose calls you will hear frequently all around the lake. Depending on the season you are likely to see a variety of ducks, and a few geese too.
When you reach the NW corner of the lake, take the trail that bends sharply eastward and heads toward Fryelands Blvd. When you reach that street, turn right and head south. For a short while, you will be on an urban sidewalk with commercial buildings on both sides. But soon you will get past the buildings on the west side and once again be in the park. From that point on, you can enjoy expansive views across the lake toward open fields, with higher hills including Lord Hill rising beyond.
In the opposite direction, Fryelands Blvd, while not particularly scenic, does offer some options for a meal or coffee if you are so inclined. Otherwise, continue on south along the lake shore and enjoy the views across the lake. All too soon you will be back at your trailhead.
Lake Tye is named for the small railroad town of Tye that thrived here in the 1890s, long before the area was annexed by an expanding Monroe. Some locals claim (it may be an urban legend) that the railroad tye was invented there.
For a map that shows the lake and trails, go to maps.google.com and search for the address "Fryelands Blvd SE & Wales St SE, Monroe, WA".
- 2.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 9 feet
- Highest Point
- 45 feet
Hiking Lake Tye
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.8625, -122.0098 Open in Google Maps