Just an FYI for anyone planning a trip to Linville Gorge, the Spence Ridge bridge was washed away by recent floods. This is the same bridge that was dramatically chopperd into the gorge a number of years ago. The ranger I talked to said there are no concrete plans for a replacement as of this time. Plan accordingly if you're gonna be hiking there.
It'd be tricky to say the least, I personally wouldn't attempt it considering where you'd be if something went wrong. Upstream might offer more options for a crossing but going off-trail in Linville Gorge isn't exactly my idea of fun.