Where is the Illinois River Road?
Traversing both east and west sides of the Illinois River from Ottawa, 150 miles south to Havana, the Illinois River Road has spurs to the communities of Princeton and Canton. The Illinois River Road corridor has over 100 natural and historic sites and numerous unique communities located throughout its 10-county region.

The Scenic Byway is conveniently located between Chicago and St. Louis, but just far enough to get away from it all. So get off the beaten path and see what the Illinois River Road has in store for you!


Nature Sites In and Around Canton

Canton and surrounding towns are steeped in the arts and crafts tradition for which Fulton County's "Spoon River Country" is known. Down at this latitude, Illinois River backwater marshes and shallow lakes dominate the landscape. Banner Marsh Fish and Wildlife Area provides an excellent example of this watery ecosystem.

Artistically, one of the best interpreters of this area's aquatic biology is sculptor Bill Swango. If time permits, take the opportunity make an appointment to view his work, which is mostly executed in black walnut. The hardwood forest which surrounds Spoon River College is another natural jewel which should not be missed. Thankfully, the college has ensured protection for this valuable area by designating it as an arboretum.

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Your search generated 13 listing(s).

19721 US Route 24, Canton , IL 61520
An officially designated “Important Birding Area” (IBA), and purchased in the 1980's by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this 4,363-acre complex of freshwater mar...View Details.
Phone: (309) 647-9184
Area: Canton
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.53741, -89.86183 Map It!

Spoon River, Bernadotte, IL
Located on Central Illinois' legendary Spoon River, the little community of Bernadotte is the site of the only dam on the river, a small and quaint structure which was constru...View Details.
Phone: (309) 338-5689
Area: Canton
GPS: 40.466667, -90.283333 Map It!

940 N. Main Street, Canton, IL 61520
Big Creek Park was the first property purchased by the Canton Park District for park development. A scenic drive winds through the park's gently rolling, oak-hickory-maple for...View Details.
Phone: (309) 647-1345
Area: Canton
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.577504,-90.043066 Map It!

271 W. State Street, Smithfield, IL 61477
View Details.
Phone: 309-783-3283
Area: Canton
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.47515, -90.29339 Map It!

Rural Route 5, Canton, IL 61520
Located just east of Canton, the 250-acre Canton Lake's lovely, wooded, 13-mile shoreline has a public campground and boat launch, as well as private residences. Open April 15...View Details.
Phone: (309) 647-0065
Area: Canton
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 40.56127, -89.97540 Map It!

Banner Marsh, Banner, IL 61520
To promote predictable navigation of the Illinois River, the United States and State of Illinois in the 1870s and 1880s constructed locks and dams at Henry, Copperas Creek, La...View Details.
Phone: (309) 647-0065
Area: Canton
GPS: 40.493927,-89.898505 Map It!

18733 N. Conservation Road, St. David, IL 61563
Located between Lewistown and the community of St. David, the 440-acre Fulton County Camping and Recreation Area includes 150 cumulative acres of surface water spread througho...View Details.
Phone: (309) 668-2931
Area: Canton
Site Access: fee
GPS: 40.46284, -90.07748 Map It!

1200 Lakeland Park Drive, Canton, IL 61520
Measuring nearly 600 acres in size, Canton's Lakeland Park is a prime example of the possibilities involved in restoring ecological integrity to strip mining sites. Much of th...View Details.
Phone: 309-647-4702
Area: Canton
Site Access: free, fee for fishing & boating
GPS: 40.57854, -90.04823 Map It!

The community of Liverpool was founded in 1836 as a commodity loading site for Illinois River freight boats destined for markets in Chicago to the north and St. Louis to the s...View Details.
Phone: (309) 547-2501
Area: Canton
GPS: 40.390775, -90.000859 Map It!

Mendenhall Road, Bartonville, IL 61607
A pleasant surprise located just off the byway, Mendenhall consists of a complex of wetland pools separated by groves of bottomland hardwood, such as willow, maple and elm tre...View Details.
Phone: (309) 633-2064
Area: Canton
GPS: 40.615353,-89.652514 Map It!

US Route 24, Canton , IL 61520
An officially designated Important Birding Area, this complex of wetlands is composed of 5,660 acres with shallow floodplain lakes and bottomland forest habitats. Spring and f...View Details.
Phone: (309) 647-9184
Area: Canton
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 40.461952,-89.934597 Map It!

23235 N CR 22, Canton, IL 61520
Nestled along the edge of an old growth oak-hickory forest, Spoon River College lies 4 miles southwest of Canton. It is a public community college and hosts a network of natur...View Details.
Phone: 309-647-4645
Area: Canton
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.52579, -90.07706 Map It!

Routes 29 and 17, Sparland, IL 61520
This 41-acre wetland restoration project was initiated by Ducks Unlimited and then turned over to IDNR. In addition to its benefit to migrating waterfowl, the Wightman Lake p...View Details.
Phone: (309) 246-8351
Area: Peoria
GPS: 41.022585, -89.437294 Map It!