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Material for woodland path- stones/gravel ok?

Currently I just have plain cedar mulch down but they wash off and float off after every heavy rainstorm so I thought of using the small gravelish stone I have leftover on my driveway that I had delivered months ago. I didn't get to use much for the project I did. The only thing that concerns me is the possibility of plant roots being damaged from all the heat the gravel attracts. Perennials may be fine as long as I keep them couple feet away from the path but tree roots grow extensively so they might burn. If you are thinking it is a woodland and should be shady, well I just planted my trees last year so trees are still small and will take a while to cast some shade.

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