One of my favorite little hikes in the Columbia River Gorge is the hike from Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls and the scenic overlook. It's perfect if you don't have much time (or hiking experience) but you want to see more of the Gorge than just the waterfall pit stops by the road. After viewing Horsetail Falls, you take the trail to the left of the falls and hike up a series of switchbacks--no shame in having to stop and catch your breath! Make sure to turn around once in a while, too--you can get gorgeous glimpses of the river through the trees, and it's rather rewarding to see how high you've climbed!
Once you've conquered those, you're basically to Upper Horsetail Falls (or Ponytail Falls). Even though it's smaller than some of the other waterfalls in the Gorge, it's one of my favorites, because you can walk right up to it--from behind. That's right, the trail actually leads you behind the waterfall, and it's one of the most amazing feelings (and views!). It really feels like something out of Robin Hood--like there should be a secret trail leading to a hidden camp.
Unreal right? And if that wasn't incentive enough, there's a bonus: If you've made it to Ponytail Falls, you're almost to one of the best views in the Gorge--the Ponytail Falls Trail Scenic Overlook. But that's another post in itself. :)