Photos: Allen County Trailblazers participants hike at Metea County Park

Bob Dispenza, park and education manager at Metea County Park, right, discusses Sunday how young, small milkweed pods can be eaten if cooked. Uncooked milkweed is toxic. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Tiny milkweed pods can be edible if cooked. Uncooked milkweed is toxic. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Renee Bentz, nature programming director for New Haven-Adams Township Parks and Recreation Department, talks Sunday with an Allen County Trailblazers hiker at Metea County Park. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
The Trailblazers sign, left, guides hikers Sunday on the trail at Metea County Park. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Bob Dispenza, park and education manager at Metea County Park, leads hikers Sunday on a Trailblazers opening event. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
This dry vernal pool is a source of mosquitoes, Bob Dispenza, park and education manager at Metea County Park, told Trailblazers hikers Sunday. Frogs and salamanders lay eggs here then get out before the area dries up. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
A dragonfly sits on a leaf Sunday at Metea County Park during the guided Trailblazers hike. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Cedar Creek has good water quality and is a popular source of water recreation, Bob Dispenza, park and education manager at Metea County Park, told Trailblazers hikers Sunday. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
A blue damselfly sits on a leaf Sunday at Metea County Park during the guided Trailblazers hike. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Bob Dispenza, park and education manager at Metea County Park, center, gives Trailblazers hikers Sunday a leaf to sniff. After smelling green bell peppers from the leaf, Dispenza said the leaf was from a paw paw tree. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)

Bob Dispenza, park and education manager at Metea County Park, 8401 Union Chapel Road, leads a free hike Sunday on the Softshell Turtle Trail. It’s one of the Allen County Trailblazers routes to get people into the outdoors. Registered participants who complete 10 of the 14 designated trails from Allen County Parks, ACRES Land Trust, Little Rivers Wetlands Project, New Haven Parks & Recreation, Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation and Fort Wayne Trails can get a free medallion for a walking stick. The program, which began July 1, runs through Dec. 31.