Linville River via Spence Ridge Trail
The Spence Ridge Trail is one of the easiest routes to access the Linville River anywhere in the Linville Gorge Wilderness.
On the way down to the river, you will pass several nice campsites, including one with an attractive view of a creek cascade.
At the bottom, you will see the remnants of the Spence Ridge Bridge, which washed out only a few years after it was built. This is an interesting sight, and a beautiful, riverside view for lunch before making the moderately strenuous climb back to the trailhead.
This location is frequently used to cross the Linville River to reach the Linville Gorge Trail on the other side, but this is highly dependent on the water level and weather. For water level data, and other useful information on Linville Gorge, see: http://www.lgmaps.org/?page_id=3483
The Spence Ridge Trailhead is located here (https://goo.gl/maps/tsyF19mxv5E2 ) along Table Rock Rd, on the Eastern Rim of Linville Gorge. The road and trail are open year round, but be aware that parts of the road are dirt/gravel and can sometimes be difficult for low clearance vehicles due to mud and potholes. Check on road conditions before your trip.
This trail is one of the best in Linville Gorge for children. When at the river, great care is needed due to powerful water and steep rock edges.