ANWB Mushrooms
Signposts for Hiker-Biker Trails

Two prevalent symbols of Holland are Windmills and Wooden Shoes. Less known, but equally important from the point of view of national pride, are the so-called "ANWB-mushrooms". These are unique signposts along the hiker-biker trails found all over the Dutch country side. The signs are provided by the ANWB, the Royal Dutch Touring Club, the equivalent of the American AAA or the British RAC. ANWB stands for Algemene Nederlandsche Wielsrijders Bond, which translates as General Dutch Cyclist's Association. The name "mushroom" stems from their shape. They are the size of a stool, a concrete central post with a "seat" so to speak, covered with a plastic hood bearing the names of landmarks and the distances thereto. The faces are sloped, perpendicular to the line of sight of the passerby, who is happy to know where he or she is, or reassured as to how far to go next. The well proportioned, ubiquitous mushroom that is now a part of the Dutch landscape was designed by the architect Leliman at the end of World War I, when metal was scarce and wood would quickly disappear in somebody's stove.

ANWB mushroom signs have been placed at two sites in the United States. The first ANWB-mushroom on American soil was unveiled by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Adriaan Jacobovitz de Szeged, on April 10, 1996, at Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, near the Royal Netherlands Embassy. The photograph shows the ambassador dedicating the sign as a representative from the National Park Service and Paul Meijer of the Metropolitan Trail Coalition look on. Mr. Meijer, a native of the Netherlands, made the arrangements for the ANWB mushroom signposts that have been installed in the United States.
Plastic PostThe square “mushroom” cap, or hood,  is made of 6 mm thick fiberglass strengthened with polyester fiber with embedded text with a protected layer. The hood is mounted on a plastic post.
Six signs were dedicated on April 26, 2002, on the Henson Creek Trail in Prince George’s County in Maryland. Three signs were donated by the Giant Food Corporation (owned by the Dutch chain of Albert Heijn) and three by Philips Electronics. Each “mushroom” cap has the logo of the corporate sponsor that paid for the sign and the logo of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Sign donated by Giant FoodSign donated by Philips Electronics

Each sign has a number on top. This may sound like a minor thing, but the signposts in the Netherlands all have a unique number. These numbers are also found on all tourist maps. One simply locates the number on a map and then knows exactly where they are.

The goal is to have signs on other trails so bicyclists can roam all over the area in and near Washington. The hope is that other jurisdictions will install ANWB mushroom signposts after they have seen the benefits to trail users.

The mushroom cap, or hood, is made by
Zeefdruk Polomnis BV
Industrieweg 1a
8263 AA Kampen
the Netherlands
Tel: 31-38-333 20 00
The post is made by
BADO Technische HandelsMaatschappij BV
Coenecoop 713
2741 PW Waddinxveen
the Netherlands
Tel: 31-182-644 444

The design is copy write protected by the ANWB. Permission to use the design can be obtained from the ANWB (Tel: 31 70 314 6644).

page revised: May 28, 2005
This page is maintained by the Oxon Hill Bicycle & Trail Club
e-mail to: info@ohbike