In 1941, the United States War Department built a 10,000+ acre munition storage and disposal facility in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region, in central Seneca County. During construction of the 24-mile-long perimeter fence that surrounded this Ordnance Depot, several dozen white-tail deer were trapped inside, isolating them from predators. As years passed, a few all white, white-tail deer were discovered inside the fence. With the additional protection from the US Army this, now famous, White Deer herd of Seneca County grew to become the largest of its kind in the world!
Today, the Army is gone but many of the Majestic Seneca white deer remain to roam freely within the fences, and what is left of the abandoned Seneca Army Depot. In 2016, after years of neglect, the privately owned organization Deer Haven Park purchased most of the old base and set aside a 3,000 acre preserve where the Seneca White Deer, American Bald Eagles and other wildlife can thrive.
When you visit Deer Haven Park you will hear some of the rich history of the Seneca Army Depot, one of the 4 munition storage facilities that were built in preparation for World War II. You'll learn some of the secrets it held and the role it played to keep America free during the Cold War. While you are here, take a park tour and experience the unique habitat and its amazing flora and fauna. You will even have a chance to see the majestic Seneca White Deer!
Self-Guided Auto Tours
Deer Haven Park will open every Saturday, between April 17th and October 30th 2021 for Auto Tours. This year, Deer Haven Park will provide a Samsung Tablet to every group of visitors to the park. This tablet will be your tour guide as you drive your vehicle through the park on a self-guided tour. The Deer Haven Park tablet will provide the illustration and narrative to your adventure based on your location within the park. You will take an 8 mile journey deep into the park, driving on roads that hadn’t been driven on by the public for nearly 80 years!
You’ll see abandoned ammunition storage igloos, gunpowder buildings, and rail-car loading platforms used by the US Army to load and offload bombs and ammunition for use overseas during WWII, the first Gulf War and every military confrontation in between. You will witness evidence of civilian farm life prior to 1940, and of course, you will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Majestic Seneca white deer and American Bald Eagles that reside at Deer Haven Park!
Auto Tour fee:
$35.00 single rate, OR
$50.00 per vehicle
(up to 7 passengers, no busses or motorcycles please)
- 4/17 - 8/28 Thursday-Saturday, 9am - 6pm
- 9/2 - 9/25 Thursday-Saturday, 9am - 5pm
- 9/30 - 10/16 Thursday-Saturday, 9am - 4:30pm
- 10/21 - 10/30 Thursday-Saturday, 9am - 4:00pm
The last vehicle will enter the park at closing time. Visitors already in the park can finish their tours. All guests must be out of the park at dark. Due to Safety and liability reasons, Auto Tour patrons must remain inside their vehicle at all times during the tour. Visit our website for more details.
Public Bus Tours
Bus Tours are Back!!
After more than a year of Social Distancing, Quarantines and Cancellations, the Deer Haven Park Bus Tours are back!
On July 15th, Deer Haven Park will begin offering Bus Tours every Thursday and Saturday. Bus Tours will feature many of the same tour guides that have been earning the park 5-star reviews since 2017!
The 90-minute tour will take you deep inside the former Seneca Army Depot. Your driver and tour guide will share some of the rich history behind the former military munition storage base and take you to see some amazing wildlife inside Deer Haven Park, home to the world's largest herd of all white, white-tail deer.
You will be allowed to step off the bus to explore one of the 519 munition storage Igloos and walk through a Personal Bomb Shelter. Witness the extreme security measures taken to protect the Special Weapons area known as the “Q”, where nuclear weapons were stored, plus pre-1940’s building foundations that offer a glimpse into Seneca County life before the war. You will see some amazing wildlife and have a chance to take an optional short walk to see the beaver dam. Finally, DHP bus tours provide the best chance to see an American Bald Eagle and the Majestic Seneca White Deer!
Deer Haven Park will continue to operate the Auto Tours 3 days a week, but if you prefer the interaction with a live tour guide and a chance to get out and see the park up close, then a bus tour is the perfect answer! Take a Bus Tour of the Historic Seneca Army Depot and discover the Majesty and Mysteries it holds. Space is limited, so Reserve Your Seat Today!
July 15th - October 30th, 2021
- Thursdays at 6:15 PM
- Saturday s at 8:30 AM
**Bus Tour Pricing
- Adults 18-64 ….……. $30
- Seniors 65+ ………… $27
- Military ……..………. $27
- Students 13-17 ……. $21
- Kids 12 & under ……. $ 8
* Bus Tour duration is 90 minutes. All tours start and end at the Deer Haven Park Visitor Center.
** Plus sales tax and reservation fee.
Rent the whole bus for your next family gathering or event and tour the Deer Haven Park with your own private tour guide. Private bus tours can accommodate up to 22 friends and family members. Like Public Bus Tours, Private Tours offer the ability to get off the bus and go inside a munition storage igloo and a personnel bunker. Visit the beaver dam and observe the ultra-high security measures the U.S. Army put in place at the entrance to the “Q” Area. (Special Weapons Storage Area)
Private tours are available year-round and can accommodate up to 22 people. Book Online or Call 8-DEER TOURS, (833) 378-6877 to plan, make reservations, and Discover Deer Haven Park!