Opoki, a well-known geological break, a village with the same name and rapids, is the most wonderful place on the river Sukhona. They’re usually called a miracle, a pearl of the Sukhona River: 60metre high coast, the longest on the Sukhona rapids – 1, 5 kms, Saint Mountain and Saint Stream, cutting this 60 metre high coast.
Opoki is a name of an abrupt bend of the Sukhona River near its most dangerous rapids. Here is the fastest current up to 5m/sec (that is comparable only to the mountain rivers) and the smallest depths (in summer it may fall up to 30 cm).
In the Old Russian language the word «opoka» meant «rock». Sukhona rocks were formed not in the mountains, but on the plain. The river, having cut the basic sediment, made 65 metres of thick Permian sediment and overburden visible. The coast resembles a huge puff pie with fulvous-brown, dark-grey and white strips of marl and till, malm, siltstones, limestones, which are more than 200 million years old!
On the left coast of the Sukhona there’s a gushing forth spring of chalybeate artesian waters. Near the well there is a big crater. In the winter one can see fantastical ice sculpture which is formed around the spring.
In 1943-1947 in Opoki there was GULAG zone (strict-security camp) called «Opokstroi». The construction of hydro unit (waterworks facilities) was conducted by the largest building organization of that time –People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs. It was decided to construct a dam across the Sukhona River with the help of prisoners. However during the first high water the river destroyed its bigger part. Now one can see only the remains of the dam and lock chambers. On place of GULAG there’s a Crucifix «Without fault suffering»...
In 1963 geological outcrop Opoki became a part of the state sanctuary «the Lens – a place of prospective paleontologic finds». In the beginning of the XXI century Opoki got the status of landscape reserve.