Author of Her Hike & Founder of Her Hike Collective

Jessica R. Chenard

the author of my debut memoir: Her Hike. A writer of purposeful adventures, healing and legacies; when I hike and when I write, purpose and creativity pour back in and refresh me. Everything resets and I relax knowing that I am answering to my calling of writing our story.

I have written my own story of what got me to the mountains and how I believe that the mountains can help heal part of your story and empower you too. I am the founder of Her Hike Collective, an all women's hiking community. You can find me hosting the group's quarterly hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Hey there, I am Jessica Ryan Chenard

Meet the Author

I spent a decade living it. I hiked to heal from tragedy which also later helped grow and nurture a beautiful life. Nature and people played a large role in nurturing my love for the mountains, the most significant one being my brother. After we tragically lost him, I was left with only the knowledge of his love for nature and hiking. This enabled and inspired me. His love for the outdoors gave me a direction to go in - my true north - and I made hiking a part of my lifestyle. Ultimately, making this book my calling. 

I was motivated to write this book because

Meet the AUthor

hiking and nature can heal. At times these words felt as if my body was physically begging me to release them, hoping that you would read them one day and that they'd help you. Inspire you. When you go through a hard season or a tragedy hiking and nature could be a lifeline for you - like it was for me. Call it intuition but ultimately I believe that this story is written for you. 

I passionately believe that

Meet the AUthor

journeyed on to keep my brother Richard's memory alive and to heal from the loss of him. Over the course of a decade, I did my coping hiking different mountains - from the Blue Ridge in Virginia to the Rocky Mountains in Montana. Shedding light on how to hold onto hope, this is my story about how I heal. I take you with me as I invite other women to hike alongside me and to start their own journeys summiting mountains through my hiking group, Her Hike Collective. You will be able to find solace in nature and to heal from some of your own stories.

This is my story of how I

Her Hike- The Memoir


well known through a front-page article in The New York Times, titled: "Drowned in A Sea of Prescriptions," written by Alan Schwarz. It was published on February 3rd, 2013. But Richard's story - his life - deserves so much more. That is why, one day, I began writing. This is how I introduce the world to the other side of Richard. How, picking up the pieces, I dedicate my words to showing who he truly was. Remembering him before the pills, I remember the Richard that he could not.

The only part of Richard that did not change, during his battle with a prescription drug addiction, was miraculously his love for nature. I believe that stayed intact to be a lifeline for me. It gave me a true North, a direction to go in, after he passed away.

My brother's story is

her Hike - The memoir

and with each step I took along a trail the mountains took a piece off and carried some of the weight for me. 

This is my story, the lesser known story that society rarely hears. Where life continued after the online comments stopped and the cameras and reporters went away. 

The mountains healed me and I believe that Her Hike is meant to encourage others to begin bringing their own story to the mountains.

I brought this to the mountains

Her Hike - The memoir


This is Richard's Hike. This is my hike.
And now, this is your hike too. 

Her Hike Collective

Like Searching in photographs, I went to big sky in search of Richard's presence - of peace. It was the first trail marker of many to come. Big Sky is where I began to heal.

We sat in a circle, legs crossed and our knees touching those of the women next to us, nodding towards the sky they raised their canisters and toasted to Richard. that day - on his birthday - all of us understood that we all were on top of that mountain for a reason.

I hope that you see that rising up after falling is good. I hope you see that people will be there to witness your muddy clothes, but accept you just the same. 

Book Jessica to speak at your next event, on your podcast or just reach out and say "Hello!" 

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What I actually long to be is a continuous rhythm. A knowing and calming sound to the human ear. A river.

A Peak into my Memoir

Excerpt from Her Hike

Inspiring women to hike in the mountains and believe in themselves in all that they aspire to do!

her Hike Collective

The Community

Her Hike Collective inspires women to hike in the mountains, adventure outdoors together and believe in themselves in all that they aspire to do.
Our motto:  Hike for her. She who believes that she can do anything, be anything; that's who you hike for. We all have our personal reasons for lacing up our boots and setting out to hike. Just like life, it's not an easy walk in the park, but also like life, do we really want it to be? 

When you hike for her, you are searching for more than a walk in the park. You are ready to give her more, you're ready to shake her and wake her up. If you have not realized this yet, the her I am describing is YOU!

The best part in the unfamiliarity of the waking, shaking, and more is that you are not alone. You have others who made the decision to hike alongside you. As we dedicate ourselves to creating more for her, we use our hikes to build strength, determination, and friendships. We wake ourselves up to see new horizons, often before the sun rises. Hike for her, and I promise your life won't be a walk in the park, but a hike to heights you have yet to imagine. Be her, wildly. 

Her Hike Collective

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Excerpt From

Sneak Peek into my Memoir

Her Hike

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Sometimes, I want to scream at the top of a summit how much I hate that Richard is gone. It bottles up from the pit of my stomach like water boiling in a tea kettle. It slowly, but then suddenly rises to the surface and I want nothing more than to release it into the air. Fuming, boiling, and shaking I want to howl a maddening noise over the mountains and release the heartache permanently. 

But I know that it is in me for a reason and that would only be a temporary release. Rather than the screeching of a tea kettle, or a maddening howl in the wilderness, what I actually long to be is a continuous rhythm. A knowing and calming sound to the human ear. A river.

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Planning a hiking trip? Hosting a podcast or event? Wanting to genuinely connect? Then do not hesitate to reach out to me for all possible bookings as well as just to chat. 

My brother's story is well known through a front-page article in The New York Times

That is partially why I am no stranger to individuals contacting me and it is my hope that if you found this book and this hiking community that you believe that it means you are meant to be here. Because I believe you are. Contact me! I can't wait to connect and hear your story. 

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Thank you!

let's do this.

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