Grafton Pond is in excellent shape: 100% skateable, and the ice level is significantly higher than it was the last time we were out on it in December (and than the water level was last fall), so there’s more to skate and more islands in place of peninsulas.
The ice was bumpy in the middle, open area of the pond, but smooth as glass closer to the land and island shorelines. The smoothest ice was a layer of clear ice on top of the gray ice. Miles of really great ice for skating. Fewer cracks than on Smith Pond.
The pond is 319 acres. For our first lap we hugged the outermost shoreline quite closely, exploring all the nooks and crannies, and that made for a 6.5 mile skate; track attached. We saw skate tracks from a couple of people who were out ahead of us, but never actually saw them. Other than one small group of ice fisherman, we had the place to ourselves.
We tested many spots with our poles, and they were all thick enough that we got bored poking without hitting water. (Meaning at least 15-20 pokes of hard ice.) There were some obvious thin spots, which were easy to see and avoid. There were a handful of small pressure ridges, some wet, but all trivial to cross or go around.
Grafton Pond is a really interesting spot, lots of convolutions to the shoreline and lots of islands to explore. A few of the backwaters (backices?) have dozens of decaying tree stumps sticking through the ice, which are neat to skate through; photo and video link attached.
The launch is by the dam, on Grafton Pond Road. Parking is limited.
— Christopher Boone