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Lake KARUJÄRV

Location: N58° 22` 38.9", E22° 13` 3.00"

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Lake Karujärv (Bear lake) is also called Saaremaa's Pühajärv , probably because of its beautiful views, lots of lake islands and clean water. But instead of hills as in South Estonia, this lake is surrounded by junipers and stone fences. Lake is situated near Kärla settlement in the forest.  

According to a folk tale, the lake got its name as seven bears had a fight at the spot. To separate them, god let such heavy rain fall that it formed a lake. The bears had left, each in separate direction, thus forming the seven inlets of the lake. 

The size of the lake is 345 hectares and it ranks 13th among the biggest lakes in Estonia. It takes time to row a boat from one side of the lake to the other, because it is 3 km long and 2 km wide. The deepest spot reaches 6 metres. Lake lies 322 metres above sea level. This is the oldest lake in Saaremaa, which separated from the sea about 8,000 years ago. The shores of the lake are creeky and it has five islands: Suursaar or Kandlesaar (Big or Kantele island); Oinarahu (Ram islet); Väikesaar (Small island) ; Linderahu and Kivirahu (Stone islet). Karujärv is rich in crayfish and different fish like perch, pike, orfe, whitefish, roach. Due to its sandy beaches and bottom the lake is popular among holiday makers. You can stay in Karujärve camping or play disc golf. Every summer a festival for motorcyclists called Mototoober takes place here. 

In the Soviet era the lake was a practising area of Soviet air force, therefore, there might still be missiles at the bottom of the lake.