How to deal with tree roots above ground

last month

I have a lovely River Birch clump, about 15 years old and very tall. Over the past few years, many roots, one to two inches in diameter, have increasingly poked up above the ground level. Within the immediate trunk area, this is not a problem. However, these roots have extended some 10 feet or so from the edge of the trunks, and have made a nearby walkway (grassy) difficult to use without tripping on the exposed roots.

I wish to deal with this hazard -- the pathway is necessary to access the upper yard from this lower area. What to do? Would adding more soil to raise the level and cover the roots work? Would doing so harm the tree? Could a mulch of bark be better than soil, thus allowing walking and use of garden cart over the area? Ought a layer of permeable "weed cloth" be used under the bark (to allow for aeration)?

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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