CANTON — The annual Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive will usher in the fall season again this year on the first two weekends of October.

Spoon River Drive encompasses almost 20 different communities in Fulton County, each featuring a host of vendors, events and activities for visitors to check out. Drivers take themselves on a self-guided tour through the Spoon River Valley, picking and choosing which communities to visit while enjoying the abundance of colorful fall foliage throughout the county.

The sites are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, 8, 14 and 15 and will remain open rain or shine. While the vendors and markets draw much of the attention, the county's venerable history is also on display.

Just north of Smithfield, a church built in 1868 can be visited. A variety of Victorian Homes can be toured in Vermont. A fully restored opera house from the turn of the 20th Century can be found in Ellisville. The first hospital in Fulton County is still standing in Cuba.

More eclectic activities also dot the scenic route — the Snowman Reindeer Farm, located in Canton, will allow people to pet, feed and interact with reindeer for a $4 admission. For those simply trying to enjoy the outdoors, more than 15 camping, recreation and conservation areas are open to the public.

To find the Spoon River Drive map, visit Lodging sites and other points of interest on the route are listed at And for any other information or inquiries, call 647-8980.

Thomas Bruch can be reached at 686-3262 or Follow him on Twitter @ThomasBruch.