Taconite Harbor is a safe harbor located near Schroeder, MN. The harbor originally opened in 1957 and was built using two natural islands that were located near the shore. The breakwaters built from these islands were built large enough for massive ore boats to enter and leave the harbor. While in the harbor, the boats were filled with low-grade taconite pellets that came by rail from Hoyt Lakes 75 miles away. The harbor closed in 2001 after the steel industry declined.
Now the harbor is used as a public water access site and a safe harbor. On the far side of the harbor stands a coal-powered electrical generating facility that ceased operation in 2016.
Taconite Harbor is located 12 miles northeast of Little Marais (2.5 miles southwest of Schroeder) just off Highway 61. A short road leads drivers from Highway 61 directly to the harbor. One of the most interesting parts of the short drive is the ghost town that lines the side of the road. In its prime, the town was made up of 24 pre-fabricated homes for employees of Hoyt Lakes. What can be seen today is an empty, open space where the homes used to rest, some old streetlights, and remnants of the city streets. Near the harbor rest pieces of heavy equipment that were used in prior years for shipping, including a large scoop, a tire from a massive dump truck (that stands 8 feet high), and two anchors.