Monroe is located in Orange County, NY. As of 2017, the town encompasses three villages: Monroe, Harriman and Kiryas Joel. While Monroe only equates to slightly less than 3% of Orange County in terms of square miles, it is the most populous town in the county, with over 43K residents. It is important to note, though, that changes are coming to the area. In late 2017, town residents voted “yes” for a proposal for the village of Kiryas Joel to become its own town, the Town of Palm Tree in 2020. More information will be available here shortly.
Monroe is the home to the original Velveeta Cheese factory, and also the birthplace of Liederkranz cheese. During most years, the town hosts an annual cheese festival in September to celebrate.
The area also provides plenty of shopping, restaurants, and outdoors activities. For example, the Goose Pond trail in the main square of Monroe provides a 1.6 mile loop for running, walking or biking. The Orange Heritage rail trail is an 11 mile paved trail. Area residents use the trail for running, walking, skating or biking. The rail trails extends from the Harriman all the way up to Goshen, NY and can be accessed in Chester and Goshen as well.
In Harriman, you can find the state’s second largest state park with over 200 miles of hiking trails, 31 lakes, and beautiful vistas. The park in partly in Orange county, and also in Rockland, so it is bigger than the 1 mile town of Harriman.
As of 2017, Kiryas Joel is the third village in Monroe, where Yiddish is spoken as the primary language. The attached link provides additional information, provided by the Kiryas Joel community.