A Magical Puzzle Key for opening a door. Innocuous, somewhat simple, but fun to solve, if you like puzzles.
A magical barrier of acid blocks your path. Solve the puzzle to unlock the door.
A combination lock, possibly to open a chest or door or other entry point. A magical puzzle, for those interested.
Checkerboards on floors of dungeons… is there any greater bane to adventurers?
A little way up the narrow valley, before they reach the woods, the PCs notice the squat, tumbledown buildings by the riverside. They are hardly big enough for a human to stand in, and the complex cogs and shafts that occupy the central cavity of one of the buildings are perplexing. What were these buildings? And how safe are they to explore?
Alternatively a desolate place is the perfect setting for a derelict chapel or croft. There needn't be any actual physical encounter involved, but it adds atmosphere to a place to see its dead history. For instance, in the Outer Hebrides there are whole deserted villages which were razed to the ground by the English during the Clearances. Such stories give a setting authenticity and character.