I can see why birch bark was used for a thousand years to make canoes. Our northern forests are full of stovepipes, the durable circles of bark with the wood center long since rotted out. Should one punch a hole in the hull, repair materials were readily available making birch bark a smart choice.
The old trails around this Wisconsin lake were created to log white pine over 135 years ago. The iron rail tracks are long gone of course but the trail remains with pine, birch and oak slowly reclaiming the landscape altered by European settlers soon after Wisconsin was declared our 30th state in 1848.