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Foresta Lumina
Photograph: © Foresta Lumina at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Foresta Lumina & Tonga Lumina: You need to experience these trippy night hikes this summer

Kilometres long, Foresta Lumina and Tonga Lumina are summer night hikes with multimedia experiences you need to try at least once.

By JP Karwacki
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Looking to get outside? The idea of a night hike might not seem the most inviting—conjuring up ideas of stumbling through the woods with a flashlight—but there are two experiences within easy driving distances from Montreal that need to be experienced at least once while the summer lasts.

Foresta Lumina in Coaticook, Quebec and Tonga Lumina in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec are two night hikes within a two-hour drive of the city core that provide multimedia experiences of the province's landscapes. Now reformatted with social distancing guidelines and mask requirements to go along with their original programming, both experiences get even better when considering their locations provide some the best places for camping and hiking near Montreal.

Created by the multimedia company Moment Factory, they make up some of the best things to do this summer when you don't—or won't—want to stay inside anywhere. 

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Since its creation, Foresta Lumina has been a regular and highly-lauded attraction. Inspired by myths and legends of the Eastern Townships, the project was the first night walk of its kind from Moment Factory before it spread to different areas across Canada. Nearly 3 kilometres. long, the experience is spread out over 11 different zones, each with its own stories and setups that last anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes before repeating.

If the drive seems like a bit much, make it a day trip at hit the Sentier de la Gorge trail that takes you over the huge suspended footbridge, the longest of its kind in North America.

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Up in Mont-Tremblant and open for little over a month, Tonga Lumina has been one of the newer night hike projects from Moment Factory. At 1.5 kilometeres long, it's the more leisurely option to take up, beginning with a chairlift ride before hitting trail that takes visitors through woods, stream and clearings. The story at this attraction follows a similar theme to Foresta Lumina: "Legend has it that a sleeping giant calls Mont Tremblant home," the description reads. "The last survivor of his kind, this mythical being is the ancestral protector of the fauna, the flora and the rivers." 

Trips here should get paired up with booking one of the 900 campsites at Parc National du Mont-Tremblant, offering just as many easy-pitch sites as there are canoe-camping spots deep in the back woods that are only accessible by foot.

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Definitely one of the cooler alternative things to do this summer and fall this year, both provide opportunities to get and explore something different for a change. Tickets to Foresta go for just under $20 for adults and $11.50 for children aged 4 to 15, while tickets to Tonga are $28 for adults and $18 for children aged 13 to 17 ($12 for ages 6 to 12).

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